The construction of a new 325m (1000ft) tall observation platform has been completed in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. The project, a joint initiative between Brazilian and German scientists is designed to collect data on atmospheric conditions from the heart of a pristine rainforest area.
Joint Undertaking in Amazonas
The Amazonian Tall Tower Observatory (ATTO) is situated 150km northeast of Manaus, the Amazonas state capital in Brazil, and is the tallest man-made structure in South America.
ATTO is a joint undertaking between scientists in Brazil and Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and will collect data on chemical changes, temperatures, cloud formation and other atmospheric conditions. Manned by two scientists, the outpost complements a similar undertaking in a remote area of Siberia called ZOTTO. It also integrates into an existing system of smaller towers in Brazil.
Surge in Tree Death
The scientific study of atmospheric conditions is invaluable in helping policy makers, business and other stakeholders to develop strategies to prevent the destruction of natural capital in the wild. A recent study by the University of Leeds concludes that over a 30 year period, the Amazon rainforest has lost almost half its capacity to absorb carbon from the atmosphere because of a surge in the death of trees. The increased carbon in the atmosphere is causing forests to grow faster and subsequently die younger.
Lungs of The World
Known as the “lungs of the world”, the Amazon rainforest continues to be deforested and degraded. Therefore, it becomes more important to preserve the remaining forest areas through the positive actions of projects such as the Trocano Araretama project.
The Celestial Green Ventures Trocano Araretama project is a REDD+ project also located in Amazonas state, and protects an area of 1.3 million hectares of forest at risk of deforestation, which conserves vital natural capital and also brings tangible benefits to the communities in the area.
Featured image credit by Neil Palmer, Piat
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