US Energy Secretary Ernest Moritz is to address a symposium on collaborative research on the Amazon to be held in Washington 28th October. It will bring together senior researchers on the ways world’s largest tropical forest can affect global climate change.
This high-impact event will focus attention on the fast-growing branch of Amazon science related to climate change studies. Qualified scientists and US media observers can register and find out about the program by clicking here.
The event is hosted by the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Brazil Institute and sponsored by the US Department of Energy Office of Science and FAPESP, the São Paulo Research Foundation.
The event comes just one month after the UN’s Climate Summit generated the New York Declaration on forest preservation which highlighted the importance of tropical forests to earth ecosystems.
It comes too, at a moment when climate change “skeptics” and “believers” are engaged in a shrill war of words in the international media over the real importance of tropical forests in maintaining climate stability. The debate was triggered by article from Yale University’s Nadine Unger. You can read an article about this by clicking here.
The one-day symposium targeting the discovery of new science about the Amazon will highlight projects such as GO Amazon, a major new study into atmospheric conditions above the forest, and the ways human intervention causing an “urban plume”can induce changes. GO Amazon is financed by the U.S. DOE, FAPESP and the Amazon Research Foundation (FAPEAM), among other partners.
Harvard University’s Scot Martin and Paulo Artaxo of São Paulo University, Brazil’s best-known climate scientists, will present their early findings. You can read a background article about GO Amazon and its significance for Latin American science by clicking here.
Aerosol production by tropical forests and their natural atmospheric chemistry — the subject of the recent controversial paper published by Nature – will be addressed by Prof. Martin and a trio of scientists from University of São Paulo and UCLA.
There are also sessions on Amazon rainfall and its ecophysiological controls; the controversial Belo Monte hydroelectric dam, and the transition zone between the world’s largest river and the Atlantic ocean. Land usage, social networks and governance models are also to be discussed.
Energy Secretary Dr Muniz was formerly an MIT professor and specialist in nuclear physics and energy. He served as Director of the MIT Laboratory for Energy and the Environment where he was a leader of multidisciplinary technology and policy studies on the future of nuclear power, coal, nuclear fuel cycles, natural gas and solar energy in a low-carbon world.
The event will also be addressed by “great and good” in the Brazil science world include Tom Lovejoy, former WWF director and founder of the mimimun critical size project – Amazonia’s longest running study into habitat requirements for species diversity.