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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!

Latest News

The next newsletter is here! The February 2021 issue includes summaries for lots of new publications, some info about the upcoming virtual EGU and many of our regular formats.

Latest Blog

Hello everyone, my name is Jeová Ramos da Silva Junior. I am a meteorologist and had my first contact with ATTO at the beginning of my master’s degree in 2017. During this period, I investigated how biomass burning might affect photosynthesis inside the canopy of the Amazon Rainforest.

News

Episode 5 of the new five-part series from the BBC

Although located in the tropics, the Amazon sporadically experiences incursions of cold waves called friagem events. They significantly impact the weather patterns during the time they occur, causing for example a temperature drop and increased cloudiness. Guilherme Camarinha-Neto and his colleagues now found that they also affect atmospheric chemistry.

The majority of global precipitation is formed through the pathway of ice nucleation, but we’re facing large knowledge gaps that include the distribution, seasonal variations and sources of ice-nucleating particles. To fill some of those knowledge gaps, Jann Schrod and his co-authors produced a record of long-term measurements of INPs. They collected data for nearly two years at four different locations. One of those sites was ATTO.

Felipe Souza, Price Mathai and their co-authors published a new study analyzing the diverse bacterial population in the Amazonian atmosphere. The composition varied mainly with seasonal changes in temperature, relative humidity, and precipitation. On the other hand, they did not detect significant differences between the ground and canopy levels. They also identified bacterial species that participate in the nitrogen cycle.

Ramsay et al. measured inorganic trace gases such as ammonia and nitric acid and aerosols in the dry season at ATTO. They are to serve as baseline values for their concentration and fluxes in the atmosphere and are a first step in deciphering exchange processes of inorganic trace gases between the Amazon rainforest and the atmosphere.

Soot and other aerosols from biomass burning can influence regional and global weather and climate. Lixia Liu and her colleagues studied how this affects the Amazon Basin during the dry season. While there are many different interactions between biomass burning aerosols and climate, they found that they overall lead to fewer and weaker rain events in the Amazon rainforest.

Blog: Voices from the Amazon

My name is Maria Prass and I’m a PhD student at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz in the group of Christopher Pöhlker who’s focused on aerosol analytics. Born in the countryside, the forest and all its small to large inhabitants are fascinating me up even today. Studying biology seemed to be the perfect match for me. Who would have thought, that this would move me to be a scientist in the most beautiful but at the same time endangered ecosystem in the world: the Amazon rainforest?

In Chapter 2 of our "ATTO through time" blog, it is time to hear from Antonio Manzi, the first coordinator of the ATTO project on the Brazilian side. He recounts the vision of Amazonian scientists to build a tall tower in the 1980s, and how it finally became a reality nearly 30 years later.

My name is Eva Pfannerstill, and I studied OH reactivity in different environments, including the Amazon rainforest. When I first opened the lid of the Comparative Reactivity instrument, I felt like looking at a bowl of Teflon spaghetti: The dozens of thin tubes, valves and mass flow controllers inside make up a confusing network for gas flows and reactions. Its purpose is the measurement of the so-called total OH reactivity. The OH reactivity tells us how much hydroxyl (OH) radicals are lost per unit of time in ambient air.

Hello! My name is Camila Lopes. I’m a meteorologist working in the ATTO Project since 2020. It is part of my Ph.D. studies at the University of São Paulo, Brazil, under the supervision of Prof. Rachel Albrecht. I’m involved in a project to study the lifecycle of clouds and aerosols in the Amazon by measuring their properties in several locations. One of these locations includes the ATTO Tower and a new site assembled about 4-km away from the tower. The site is called "Campina", which means "meadow" in Portuguese.

Shujiro Komiya is a postdoc at MPI-BGC. He got his degrees at Meiji University in Tokyo and has a background in studying greenhouse gas dynamics in rice paddy fields. He now applies this in the Amazon rainforest at ATTO.

Eva Pfannerstill remembers her time in the ATTO project, and what it was like to perform research at a remote site in the Amazon Rainforest. The article was first published on EGU Blogs.