Welcome

Welcome to our website for ATTO, the Amazon Tall Tower Observatory – an Amazon research project.

This research site is located in the middle of the Amazon rainforest in northern Brazil, about 150 km north of Manaus. It is run together by scientists from Germany and Brazil. Its aim is to continuously record meteorological, chemical and biological data, such as the concentration of greenhouses gases. With the help of these data, we hope to gain insights into how the Amazon interacts with the overlying atmosphere and the soil below. Because this region is of such importance to the global climate, it is vital to get a better understanding of these complex processes. Only then will we be able to make more accurate climate predictions.

Have a look around on our website to learn more about the research performed at ATTO and in labs and offices around the world. Please note that the website is still under constructions and more content will be added. So be sure to check back soon! You can also follow us on Social Media to get an insight into the daily lives of the ATTO scientists and stay up-to-date on all the latest news and events!

Newsletter #2

We just released the second ATTO newsletter. It features new team members, the big ATTO presence at the EGU 2019, infrastructure updates at the site and more.

To receive the newsletter, please subscribe to our mailing list, subscribe to the RSS feed or follow us on social media. All newsletters will be archived here on the website as well.

Enjoy reading!

ATTO at EGU 2019

Word cloud from all abstracts accepted from EGU 2019 session „Intact Amazon forest - a natural laboratory of global significance“

EGU 2019 is shining a light on Amazon research. Jošt Lavrič, Beto Quesada, Alessandro Araújo and Matthias Sörgel are chairing a session titled „Intact Amazon forest – a natural laboratory of global significance“. We‘re excited that, in addition to many of our ATTO team members, scientists from a variety of other projects will participate in the session. It is going to be a very diverse and exciting, with lots of possibilities to share knowledge and extend our network. It will take place on Friday, 12 April.

Here is an overview of ATTO presentations in the EGU 2019 session on Amazon research (check the session program for all presentations):

Orals from 10:45 am to 12:30 pm in Room 2.31

Poster Session from 8:30 to 10:15am in Poster Hall A

ATTO presentations in other session

Visiting local schools to present ATTO

We want to share with you some news about an exciting project that developed over the last few weeks. Back in November, we had some very special visitors to our site. We had invited teachers from four near-by communities of indigenous people along the Uatumã River to ATTO. Representatives of the Secretary of Education of Presidente Figueiredo, the municipality to which these communities belong, joined them on this visit. This was a fantastic opportunity to get to know our neighbors in the forest better, to tell them about our research and show them the observatory. Afterwards, we discussed over lunch how we can best collaborate in the future.

One of the outcomes was to arrange for our team to engage the youth in those communities. So, over the last two weeks, some of our scientists visited these local schools and presented our research. Prior, most students and residents hadn’t known much about our work and were amazed by everything they saw and heard. Some teachers have already asked about the possibility of further developing this partnership. One such option is to create school projects with an environmental focus associated with our research at ATTO. Additionally, we had a visit from the coordinator of the Sustainable Development Reserve Uatumã. He was impressed with the project and would like to expand the interaction to the other schools in the reserve.

We are very excited about this development. And we hope these visits will not only serve as a way to inform the whole community about our work but also spark curiosity for science among the children.

Impressions from the visits

New Publication: rainforest VOC emissions change in El Nino years

OH reactivity (as a measure for VOCs) in the lower part of the graph indicated by the black (2012) and red (2015) lines show maxima at noon and around sunset, respectivelyScience is a lot like life: Things don’t always turn out the way you thought they would.

Recently, Eva Pfannerstill and her team wanted to find out how Amazonian plants react to ecological stresses, such as heat and drought. They wondered if they release more VOCs in such a situation. To do that, they compared data from November 2012 and 2015. 2012 was a pretty “normal” year without any significant temperature or precipitation anomaly. 2015, on the other hand, was influenced by a particularly strong El Nino. It brought extremely hot temperatures and severe drought to the region. However, the scientists were surprised to find that overall emissions were pretty much the same in the two years. But they did discover a different distribution over the day. In the El Nino year, the plants emitted most VOCs during the sunset hour. In the  “normal” year the peak was at noon. They attribute this unexpected discovery to more turbulent winds associated with the high temperatures. These transport the VOCs higher, above the forest canopy to the instrument.

The study was published in Frontiers in Forest and Global Change, Issue 18 under the title “Total OH Reactivity Changes Over the Amazon Rainforest During an El Niño Event” by Pfannerstill et al. and is available Open Access.