The Valentia Station at Cahirciveen, County Kerry is monitoring changes in the ozone layer.

Every week an observation balloon is launched from the Kerry weather station contributing to vital research work on the upper atmosphere. 

Meteorologist Gerry Murphy explains that the data captured by the balloons is sent to the Norwegian Institute for Atmospheric Research. This data is then made available to scientists all over Europe who are working in the field of ozone research. European centres also share the data captured from their balloon ascents. 

The ozone research carried out in Cahirciveen is quite unique in that it is the only centre in the country involved in the monitoring.  

The work involves launching ozone sensors into the atmosphere on a weekly basis. This will be reduced to once a fortnight over the summer months as ozone levels in the atmosphere begin to stabilise. It is hoped that by next winter, sensors will be launched three times a week in a more comprehensive research programme. The greatest variation in ozone levels occurs during the winter months. 

Our involvement with ozone research on a European level will enhance the reputation of the station for providing high quality data and it will also bring home to scientists the excellent strategic location of Valentia Observatory.


An RTÉ News report broadcast on 25 March 1994. The reporter is Tom MacSweeney.