[en] Jungfraujoch station ; remote sensing ; solar spectrum ; infrared spectroscopy ; stratosphere ; troposphere ; atmospheric change
[en] The Institute of Astrophysics of the University of Liege has been present at the High Altitude Research Station Jungfraujoch, Switzerland, since the late 1940s, to perform spectrometric solar observations under dry and weakly polluted high-mountain conditions. Several solar atlases of photometric quality, extending altogether from the near-ultra-violet to the middle-infrared, were produced between 1956 and 1994, first with grating spectrometers then with Fourier transform instruments. During the early 1970s, scientific concerns emerged about atmospheric composition changes likely to set in as a consequence of the growing usage of nitrogen-containing agricultural fertilisers and the industrial production of chlorine-bearing compounds such as the chlorofluorocarbons and hydro-chlorofluorocarbons. Resulting releases to the atmosphere with ensuing photolysis in the stratosphere and catalytic depletion of the protective ozone layer prompted a worldwide consortium of chemical manufacturing companies to solicit the Liege group to help in clarifying these concerns by undertaking specific observations with its existing Jungfraujoch instrumentation. The following pages evoke the main steps that led from quasi full sun-oriented studies to priority investigations of the Earth's atmosphere, in support of both the Montreal and the Kyoto Protocols.