Trace gases research at Mace Head
Since 1987, continuous measurements of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's): CFC-11, CFC-12, CH3CCl3, CFC-113, CCl4 and CH4, N2O, CO, and O3 have been made at Mace Head as part of the Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (GAGE), under the direction of Dr. P.G. Simmonds. The GAGE programme has been superseded by Advanced GAGE or AGAGE in 1995. T.G. Spain has been maintaining the operation of the GAGE and AGAGE research programmes at Mace Head. Measurement of CFC substitutes: HFC's and HCFC's by an automated gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer was initiated in 1995. In addition, a flask sampling network involving National University of Ireland, Galway (and other EU participants) for CH4 isotope measurements has been undertaken.
Since 1992 a collaborative CO2 measurement programme has been underway with CNRS, Gif sur Yvette, France. The work has been extended to include radon and CO2 isotope measurements at Mace Head under the EU ESCOBA research project.
A NOAA collaborative trace gas (CO2 and isotopes) flask sampling programme has also been in operation at Mace Head since the late 1980's.