Amazon science in Washington 28/10

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.

Amazon interest: US Secretary of Energy Ernest Muniz

Amazon interest: US Secretary of Energy Ernest Muniz

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.

Surveyed from above: Does Amazonia's weather change climate?

Surveyed from above: Does Amazonia’s weather change climate?

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.






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