Not many people know about the significant research station on the Jungfraujoch. Built in 1937, it provides the infrastructure and support for scientific research that must be carried out at an altitude of 3’000-3’700 meters above sea level or for which a high alpine climate and environment are necessary. The buildings include the Research Station, Sphinx Observatory at Jungfraujoch, and lab space in the former Swisscom relay station on the Jungfrau East Ridge.
The High Altitude Research Stations Jungfraujoch and Gornergrat International Foundation (hfsjg) provides the necessary infrastructure such as accommodation and support for scientific work for researchers from all over the world. No research is carried out by the Foundation itself.
Some of the Research topics at Jungfraujoch with photos from www.hfsjg.ch :
Meteorological measurements at Jungfraujoch that play an important role in the computer programs of weather forecasts as they show at what speed changes in the weather can occur. They have also identified trends of great importance as the consequences of climate change.
Documenting the climate change since Jungfraujoch is far above most sources of air pollution, the High Altitude Research Station is suitable for measuring the composition of the atmosphere.
Monitoring the radiation balance: Radiation is the driving force in energy exchanges between the atmosphere, the oceans and the ground: the most direct effect of global warming is expected to be an increase of infrared radiation emitted from the atmosphere to the ground. Long-term observation of surface radiation fluxes is consequently an important part of climate change monitoring.
Since the 1990’s research to gain a better understanding of how the fine suspended particles in the air affect the climate and cloud formation.
The effects of a high-altitude stay on the human body has been a focus for many researchers. Investigations into cardiovascular systems, correlations between blood gas values, symptoms of acute altitude sickness and how heart patients handle an altitude above 3’000 meters.
Although there is special accommodation for researchers at the station, there is nothing publically available.
A day trip to the Jungfraujoch is a special day that one remembers for many years. There are diverse areas to explore such as ice caves, the views and an hour walk (maybe strenuous at altitude for some people) to the Mönch Hut in good weather also reveals the glacier world. The view of the magnificent UNESCO protected Aletsch Glacier is breath-taking.
Be sure to check the weather the day before your outing for optimal photo opportunities and the walk to the Mönch Hut. Be on the first train leaving Lauterbrunnen around 7am to avoid the crowds and pre-buy a ticket in summer as they have limited capacity on the trains (around 3500 seats per day).
In the homeward train journey, alighting at Eigergletscher station is well worth the side walk around to better see the Eiger Glacier. Then you can walk down to Kleine Scheidegg enjoying the views and the musical cow bells. Re-joining the train at Kleine Scheidegg before another hop off stop at Wengen for some village browsing before getting back on the train to continue to Lauterbrunnen. These side trips can make the day a full and colourful adventure.
Where dreams begin for outdoor adventures in the inspiring Jungfrau region