Monday, September 07, 2015

Brazil, Germany build amazon observatory to monitor climate change

Brazil's National Institute of Amazonian Research and Germany's Max Planck Institute have joined efforts to build the Amazon Tall Tower Observatory (ATTO).

Located along the waterways of a northern tributary of the Amazon River, the observatory was finally finished this year after 8 years of construction.

Jurgen Kesselmeier, the German coordinator of the project gives an update on where the tower is right now.

"The tower is ready, it's ready to get inside instruments as soon as possible, so it's not operational but it's ready to be equipped with all the materials we would like to see there to measure all the trace gases, we would like to do."

The specialist equipment to collect data will be installed in the coming months. The tower is expected to be fully operative in 2017.

The equipment will collect data about greenhouse gases, aerosol particles, cloud properties, boundary-layer processes, and the transport of air masses every day.

Kesselmeier says the primary goal of the tower is to track greenhouse gases.

" This tower is looking for, mainly for greenhouse gases like CO2, methane, N2O and ozone, which are heating up the atmosphere and these gases are exchanged with the surface at the ground, from these gases. We would like to learn about the quantity of these gases which are coming out of the system, of the forest, or which are getting in, and to understand how this exchange is working. So, these are the primarily goals, these are the greenhouse gases. "

Kesselmeier adds the tower will also look for secondary and primary aerosol particles, which help to build up clouds and indirectly influence climate.

Data collected from the tower will be incorporated into models to predict climate change. Antonio Manzi, the Brazilian coordinator on the ATTO project, says such information will help to influence government decisions on environmental policies.

"Those models will be incorporated to the models that measure pressure of weather, quality of air -pollution- and also to the models of the earth system that work on the forecast of the future climate. All the results, especially those (obtained) in the long term, will be very important to define the public policies, public policies for conservation and management of the ecosystems."

The tower will be in operation for at least 30 years.

Germany and Brazil are sharing the costs of the project, which stand at 9.5 million USD. The amount includes construction costs and operation expenses for the first five years.

  Xinhua -

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