Back to overview

Measurements of greenhouse gases at Beromünster tall-tower station in Switzerland

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Berhanu T. A., Satar E., Schanda R., Nyfeler P., Moret H., Brunner D., Oney B., Leuenberger M.,
Project ICOS-CH: Integrated Carbon Observation System in Switzerland
Show all

Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Atmos. Meas. Tech.
Volume (Issue) 9
Page(s) 2603 - 2614
Title of proceedings Atmos. Meas. Tech.
DOI 10.5194/amt-9-2603-2016

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


In order to constrain the regional flux of greenhouse gases, an automated measurement system was built on an old radio tower at Beromünster, Switzerland. The measurement system has been running since November 2012 as part of the Swiss greenhouse gases monitoring network (CarboCount-CH), which is composed of four measurement sites across the country. The Beromünster tall tower has five sampling lines with inlets at 12.5, 44.6, 71.5, 131.6, and 212.5 m above ground level, and it is equipped with a Picarro cavity ring-down spectrometer (CRDS) analyzer (G-2401), which continuously measures CO, CO2, CH4, and H2O. Sensors for detection of wind speed and direction, air temperature, barometric pressure, and humidity have also been installed at each height level. We have observed a non-negligible temperature effect in the calibration measurements, which was found to be dependent on the type of cylinder (steel or aluminum) as well as trace gas species (strongest for CO). From a target gas of known mixing ratio that has been measured once a day, we have calculated a long-term reproducibility of 2.79 ppb, 0.05 ppm, and 0.29 ppb for CO, CO2, and CH4, respectively, over 19 months of measurements. The values obtained for CO2 and CH4 are compliant with the WMO recommendations, while the value calculated for CO is higher than the recommendation. Since the installation of an air-conditioning system recently at the measurement cabin, we have acquired better temperature stability of the measurement system, but no significant improvement was observed in the measurement precision inferred from the target gas measurements. Therefore, it seems that the observed higher variation in CO measurements is associated with the instrumental noise, compatible with the precision provided by the manufacturer.