News from the project

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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.

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Episode 5 of the new five-part series from the BBC and David Attenborough called “A Perfect Planet” includes scenes filmed at ATTO. It is currently airing on BBC 1 in the UK, on ZDF in Germany and on Discovery+ in

Friagem events bring lots of clouds and lots of rain with them. © Steffen Schmidt / MPI-BGC

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.

Sampling set-up for bioaerosols near the forest floor

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.

GRAEGOR Detektoreinheit im Laborcontainer. © Robbie Ramsay / University of Edinburgh

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.

Smoke from biomass burning rises into the atmosphere over the central Amazon basin. © NASA

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.

Growing on a tree trunk at the forest floor is Leucobryum martianum, one the tropical mosses studied for their microclimatic requirements. © Michael Welling / MPI-C

A new study by Löbs et al. in Biogeosciences documents the microclimatic conditions for tropical mosses as a baseline for studies on their overall relevance on biogeochemical cycling. They found that water and light are overall the most important requirements for them to become photosynthetically active. However, their habitat determines which of the two plays the bigger role.

EGU21 Call for Abstracts

We are happy to announce that we will once again convene a session on Amazon Rainforest research at the EGU General Assembly 2021. The session is titled “The Amazon – a biome of global significance in transition”. Just in time for the call for abstracts, the EGU has announced, that the General Assembly 2021, traditionally held each spring in Vienna, Austria, will instead take place entirely online once more.

Cover photo for the September 2020 newsletter.

Der Newsletter September 2020 enthält neue Publikationen, Informationen darüber, wie wir Ihnen helfen, Ihre Arbeit zu bewerben, Team-Updates und mehr.

measuring BVOC emissions from termite nests on trees.

Nora Zannoni and her colleagues measured BVOC emissions at the ATTO tall tower in several heights. Specifically, they looked at one particular BVOC called α-pinene. They found that chiral BOVs at ATTO are neither equally abundant nor is the ratio of the two forms constant over time, season, or height. Surprisingly, they also discovered that termites might be a previously unknown source for BVOCs.

The shadow and the light of a low sun highlight the gentle topography under the Amazon forest, which affects atmospheric turbulence. © Paulo Brando

Chamecki and his co-authors analyzed if the gentle topography underneath the Amazon rainforest impacts atmospheric turbulence. They published their results Open Access in the Journal of the Atmospheric Science.

The ATTO tall tower extends above the rainforest canopy at sunset. It was inaugurated 5 years ago, marking one of two big miles that celebrate their anniversary this year.

This year, we are celebrating the anniversaries of two milestones at ATTO. Our tall tower is celebrating its fifth birthday tomorrow. On 15 August 2015, it was officially inaugurated. However, measurements at the station already started in August 2010 on two smaller towers. Since then, the observatory has continued to grow. Now more than 200 scientists worldwide participate in this interdisciplinary project on climate research in the Amazon.

© AGU

AGU Fall Meeting 2020 meeting will be held virtually during the original 7-11 December dates. We want to draw your attention to one session in particular: Tropical forests under a changing environment. Abstract submission deadline is 29 July.

critical zones

Two Amazonian local activists Natalina do Carmo and Milena Raquel Tupinambá, visited ATTO last year. Brazilian filmmaker Barbara Marcel went with them to capture the exchange between the scientists, who study the forest, and the communities who call the forest their home. You can now see what she discovered in a video installation called “Ciné-Cipó - Cine Liana” in the virtual exhibition "Critical Zones - Observatories for Earthly Politics" by the ZKM (Zentrum für Kunst und Medien) Karlsruhe.

Many igapó forest along the Uatumã have died, leaving lots of dead tree stems behind in the shallow water.

Recently we mentioned that drowned trees along the Uatumã River a likely the cause for enhanced methane emissions measured at ATTO. Now Angélica Resende and her co-authors investigated how changes in flooding regimes impact tree mortality in floodplains. They compared two sites in the Amazon basin. Along the Jaú River, the floodplain environment is still largely undisturbed. Along the Uatumã near ATTO, on the other hand, the flooding regime has been altered by the implementation of the Balbina hydroelectric plant further upstream.

Drowned trees in the Uatuma River. © Martin Kunz / MPI-BGC.

Santiago Botía and his co-authors analyzed methane in the atmosphere at ATTO. Over the course of five years, they measured methane along with other properties, such as wind speed, wind direction and the stratification of the atmosphere. They noticed frequent pulses of methane emissions during the night, but only under certain conditions. Surprisingly, these nighttime events mostly occurred in the months of July to September – the dry season in the Amazon. Botía et al published the study Open Access in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Issue 20: Understanding nighttime methane signals at the Amazon Tall Tower Observatory (ATTO).

When forests burn those fires produce a lot of smoke. And that smoke usually contains soot, also called “black carbon”. Black carbon particles are aerosols that absorb radiation and as such can warm the Earth’s atmosphere and climate. But we still have much to learn about aerosols, their properties, and distribution in the atmosphere. One of those things is the question of how black carbon emitted from biomass burning in Africa (i.e. forests, grasslands, savannas etc.) is transported across the Atlantic and into the Amazon basin, and what role it plays there. Bruna Holanda and her co-authors tackled this in their new study published in ACP.

stayhome

We have minimized our field activities at ATTO due to COVID-19 since last week. Researchers will not travel to ATTO to collect samples or make measurements until further notice. For now, a small core team will continue taking care of our long-term measurements.

Twilight in the rainforest

The April newsletter includes a few important announcements, including one about the plans for this year's ATTO workshop! All regular formats, such as New Publications and Meet the Team are back of course.

EGU 2020 program for session on Amazon forest

The EGU is officially announcing the cancellation of the physical EGU General Assembly 2020 in Vienna, Austria. Instead "Sharing Geoscience Online" will allow abstract authors to share presentation materials and open these for live discussion as well as participate in a selection of online networking events. We are also planning additional activities that will extend into the rest of the year and will provide more information about all of these events in the coming weeks.

location of INVENTA site to monitor wind-tree interactions

We have recently taken a big step to further expand our research with the INVENTA/ATTO project to study. Led by Daniel Marra and Susan Trumbore, we want to investigate wind-tree interactions in the Amazon. Our goal is to integrate research on tree architecture and bio-mechanics with atmospheric and biogeochemical processes.

© Maria Prass /MPI-C

You may have noticed that the front page of our website got a new look recently. This is because in addition to project news, we now also have a blog! It is called "Voices from the Amazon", and here you will hear directly from our ATTO team. You can find it right below the "News section" on the front page. We are kicking things off with a very special post for today's Day for Woman and Girls in Science.

Programme Description Applicants for the research fellowship are scientists and scholars from all disciplines with excellent qualifications from Brazil. The funding is designed to support post-doctoral researchers at the beginning of their academic careers as well as experienced researchers who

large tropical fungi

Fungal spore emissions are an important contributor to biogenic aerosols, but we have yet to understand under what conditions fungi release their spores. Nina Löbs and co-authors developed a new technique to measure emissions from single organisms and tested this out at ATTO and with controlled lab experiments. They published their results in the Open Access Journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques.

convective storm over the forest

Convective storms often occur in the tropics and have the potential to disturb the lower part of the atmosphere. They might even improve the venting of trace gases out of the forest canopy into the atmosphere above. To better understand these processes, Maurício Oliveira and co-authors used the infrastructure at ATTO to study storm outflows during nighttime. They published the results in a new paper in the Open Access Journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.

rainy day in the Amazon rainforest

Fourth Newsletter

The fourth newsletter is here! Get all the latest updates from the ATTO project, such as new publications, upcoming conferences, and a media digest.

AGU Fall Meeting 2019

ATTO at AGU 2019

Again this year, we will be present at the AGU Fall Meeting 2019 with some interesting presentations that cover a range of topics! If you are in San Francisco next week, you can learn out more about the latest Amazon research from ATTO make sure to put the following items on your schedule:

EGU_call for abstracts

We are once again inviting you to bring the Amazon rainforest, or rather your Amazon research to the EGU General Assembly 2020! We are convening the session “Amazon forest – a natural laboratory of global significance” – a place for a vivid and scientifically fruitful exchange between many researchers from many groups and projects on the Amazon forests – including ATTO.

new leaves are often bright green

In a new study, Nathan Gonçalves and co-authors now wanted to find out if extreme climate events such as droughts influence leaf flushing, and thereby the average leaf age and photosynthetic capacity of the forest, and if is it possible to monitor more subtle changes associated with extreme events (compared to season changes) with satellites?

Graphical Abstract

In a new study, Dr. Haijie Tong and co-authors studied a subset of PM2.5, the so-called highly oxygenated molecules (HOMs) and its relationship with radical yield and aerosol oxidative potential. They analyzed fine particulate matter in the air in multiple locations. This including the highly polluted megacity Bejing and in the pristine rainforest at ATTO. They wanted to get insights into the chemical characteristic and evolutions of these HOM particles. In particular, they wanted to find out more about the potential of HOMs to form free radicals. These are highly reactive species with unpaired electrons.

full auditorium at INPA

In September, scientists of the ATTO project met in Manaus for our 2019 workshop. To our delight, representatives of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), project manager on the German side, and of the Brazilian Ministry for Science could join us for the entire week. During the workshop, we dedicated a large amount of time to poster sessions in a relaxed atmosphere. That way, many participants had the opportunity to present their work and had time for personal exchange with project partners. In addition, we placed another emphasis on interdisciplinary breakout sessions for topics where the research questions of different working groups overlap.

sunrise from the tall tower

Newsletter #3

The third ATTO newsletter is here! It features announcements regarding the ATTO workshop a new talk series for ATTO scientists at INPA and a breakdown of new publications. The “Meet the team” series is also back, bigger and better, now including project veterans and newbies alike!

The footprint region of ATTO shifts from pristine northeast to more human influenced southeast

Christopher Pöhlker and co-authors published an extensive new paper, characterizing the footprint region of ATTO. They hope that fellow researchers in the Amazon region can use this publication as resource and reference work to embed ATTO observations into a larger context of Amazonian deforestation and land-use change. Pöhlker et al. published the paper Open Access in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Volume 19.

We’re pleased to announce that for this year’s ATTO Meeting registration is NOW OPEN! INPA will be our host in Manaus on September 16 – 18. We kindly ask you to please to use the short registration form in time

Figure from Sá et al. (2019)

We hear a lot about particulate matter these days, mostly in the context of air pollution in inner cities. But what about particulate matter in the Amazon rainforest? Well, the short answer is that particulate matter is present in the air above the Amazon, too. And although its concentrations are lower than those in large cities, urbanization and deforestation fires have a significant impact. To find out what that impact exactly is, was the aim of a new study by Suzane de Sá and co-authors.

Felipe Souza and co-authors now collected bioaerosols at our ATTO site. Then they extracted and analyzed the DNA to determine the communities present. This is the first study that described the community of microorganisms within aerosols in the Amazon. They found many different types of bacteria and fungi. Some were cosmopolitan taxa, but they also identified many that are specific to certain environments such as soil or water. This suggests that the atmosphere may act as an important gateway for bacteria to be exchanged between plants, soil, and water.

The Amazon rainforest interacts with the atmosphere by exchanging many substances. Many of these, such as carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, and organic compounds, are produced by the vegetation. They are very influential in both the regional and global climates. Until now, the estimates of their emission and absorption rates are based on classical theories. But those were developed over relatively short vegetation and are valid for the so-called “inertial sublayer.”

About the program The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) initiated the PRIME fellowship program to support the international mobility of postdoctoral researchers by temporary positions at German universities. It gives Postdoctoral researchers of all nationalities the opportunity of a 18-month

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ATTO Meeting 2019

We’re excited to announce that this year our annual ATTO meeting takes place on September 16-18 and will be hosted by INPA in Manaus. The meeting is open to all consortium member and invited guests and we can’t wait to see everyone

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Newsletter #2

The second ATTO newsletter is out now. It features new team members, the big ATTO presence at the EGU 2019, infrastructure updates at the site and more.

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ATTO at EGU 2019

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

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Pfannerstill et al. compared VOC emissions at ATTO between a normal year and one characterized by a strong El Nino with severe droughts in the Amazon. The did not find large differences, except in the time of day that the plants release the VOCs. They published their results in the journal Frontiers in Forest and Global Change.

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Wu et al. collected and analyzed aerosols in two locations: the city of Manaus, a large urban area in Brazil, and the ATTO site in the heart of the forest. The aerosol compositions varied largly. At ATTO most aerosols were emitted by the forest itself, while in Manaus, anthropogenic aerosols were very common. The results were published in ACP.

AGU Fall Meeting 2018

The AGU Fall Meeting 2018 is approaching fast. Before you all finish up your schedules, we want to draw your attention to the presentations from our ATTO team! Tuesday, 11 December Damien Guinoiseau will present a poster on “Dust source identification

EGU 2019

Are you heading to the EGU 2019? If the answer is ‘yes’ we might have just the right session for you! Next year, some members of the ATTO team are convening a session at next years EGU titled “Intact Amazon

The shadow and the light of a low sun highlight the gentle topography under the Amazon forest, which affects atmospheric turbulence. © Paulo Brando

ATTO Newsletter #1

ATTO just released its first-ever newsletter! Four times a year it will keep you up-to-date on new publications, upcoming conferences and much more. This edition contains an overview of new publications, a retrospect of the recent ATTO workshop and information about infrastructure updates at ATTO.

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Aquino et al. published a new study in Agricultural and Forest Meteorology about the characteristics of turbulence within the forest canopy at two Amazonian sites. They found that the air layer close to ground is largly decouples from the air layer in the upper canopy and above.

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Saturno et al. analyzed the concentration of black and brown carbon in the atmosphere above the Amazon. They found that the dry season is characterized by lots of biomass burnings, which produce a lot of black and brown carbon. But they also sound significant interannual variations. The results were published in ACP.

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Mira Pöhlker and her team continuously measured aerosols and their properties in the atmosphere at the 80 m tower at ATTO, thereby created the first such long-term record in the Amazon. They analyzed the data in two subsequent paper. The second was now published in ACP.

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Saturno et al. used the eruption of two volcanoes in Congo to trace the transport of sulfate particles from Central Africa to the Amazon basin. They are using this as a case study to understand how gas and particle emissions from Africa are transported over the Atlantic Ocean. The results are published in ACP.

Welcome

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

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Moran-Zuloaga et al. analyzed the coarse fraction of aerosols every 5 minutes for over 3 years at ATTO. They found that the composition remains fairly constant throughout the year, except for a short period in the wet season when Saharan dust occurs regularly. They published their results in ACP.