Amazon Observatory to monitor climate change
Brazil is home to the most fragile ecosystems of the world-the great Amazonian rainforests. They are of paramount significance in the atmospheric balancing in the world. The forest spread is over 5,500,000 square kilometers, 60% of which lies in Brazil followed by Peru, Colombia and minor parts in Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana.
The rainforest are the largest and thickest tropical forests in the world which have around 390 billion individual trees and 16,000 species. The forest have been a witness to diverse biological history of the Earth as they have been in existence since 55 million years. They have faced thick and thin phases over last 21,000 years during the Last Glacial Maximum and further deglaciation. They have the richest biodiversity in the world with one in every ten species living in the region.
Deforestation has left its imprint on Amazon forests. Large-scale clearing of forests for human settlement and infrastructure have played havoc in the pristine and undisturbed. The results of the above activities have alarmed the authorities and they have decided to implement a 7-year old plan of an Amazon Observatory in the heart of the Amazon in Brazil. The Observatory is a joint project of Brazil’s National Institute of Amazonian Research and Germany’s Max Planck Institute. The tower will be 325 m tall and is loaded with high-end equipment. The main function will be to monitor relationships between the jungle and the atmosphere. It will gather data on heat, water, carbon gas, winds, cloud formation, carbon absorption and weather patterns.
Such initiatives are commendable by the Brazilian government and if successfully implemented will be a gamechanger revolution to measure the impact of humans on the pristine surroundings.