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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
The news reaching us from Brazil, and in particular from Manaus, these days are very grim. On behalf of the ATTO partners from Germany and elsewhere, I would like to express our concern and support for our colleagues in Brazil.
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.
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.
Blog: Voices from the Amazon
I’m Eliane Gomes-Alves. I have been working at ATTO since 2015 with measurements of plant emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). To sample VOC emissions, we use equipment that was originally developed to measure gas exchanges between the air and plant leaves. It is called IRGA – infrared gas analyzer.
My name is Andrew Crozier and I have been the Site Engineer in the ATTO project for the last 6 years. Now my time with the ATTO project is coming to a close. And though I am saddened to leave it, I will always be grateful for the life-changing experiences I have had while connected with it.
My name is Sebastian and I am a biologist participating in the ATTO project since 2017. At the moment I am working on my master thesis on "Bioaerosol emission patterns of tropical fungi in the Amazon”Bioaerosols are particles in the atmosphere originating from a biological source, for example fungal spores, bacteria and viruses. The fungal spores are what interests our research team. Together with multiple colleagues, in particular Nina Löbs and Cybelli Barbosa, I developed a measurement setup, with which we can quantify and analyze fungal particle emissions in the field and in the lab.
Hello everyone, my name is Pedro. I am a biologist and a lover of the world of plants. I first realized this during my undergrad. As an intern at the Institute of Botany of São Paulo, I participated in an ozone bio-monitoring project. Basically, it was all about exposing sensitive plants to this pollutant, ozone, in several locations around an oil refinery. After a few days of exposure, I looked at the leaves and checked if and to what degree they have injured due to the ozone.
My name is Olaf Kolle and I am the scientific head of the Central Service Group ‘Field Experiments and Instrumentation’ at the MPI-BGC in Jena. Currently, we are 13 people in this Service Group. I myself am a meteorologist. But our group members have a wide range of backgrounds, from scientists over gardeners to engineers. This means that we have accumulated a large amount of technical and scientific expertise to plan, set up and maintain field installations.
Hello everybody, my name is Hella van Asperen. I am a PostDoc at the Institute of Environmental Physics in Bremen (Germany), in the group of Prof. Notholt, but currently live and work in Manaus. I started my studies at Wageningen University in the Netherlands with the Bachelor program ‘Soil, Water, Atmosphere’. That I followed with a Masters in ‘Soil Science’ and ‘Earth System Science’.