“ATTO” stands for Amazonian Tall Tower Observatory. The German-Brazilian joint project was launched in 2009 and is coordinated by the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry. The tower aims at delivering groundbreaking findings which will be the basis for improved climate models. With a height of 300 meters the tower will extend the ground-level boundary layer, and will provide information taken from approximately 100 squarekilometers from the world´s largest forest area.
The Amazon region is of global significance: it produces half of the word´s oxygen, impacts the water cycle through evaporation and stabilize the climate.
ATTO is the counterpart of the 2006 completed ZOTTO tower that stands in Siberia and the the Max Planck Institute of Chemistry is also involved. ATTO will integrated into an existing structure of smaller Brazilian measuring towers. The cost for the construction of ATTO including the first five years of running costs is estimated to be 8.4 million €. which will be financed by Germany and Brazil in equal parts.
The Amazon rainforest is responsible for absorbing tonnes of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere
Construction has begun on a giant observation tower in the heart of the Amazon basin to monitor climate change.
The Amazon Tall Tower Observatory is expected to rise 325m from the ground.
Its instruments will gather data on greenhouse gases, aerosol particles and the weather in one of the largest continuous rain forests on the planet.
Brazilian and German scientists hope to use the data to better understand sources of greenhouse gases and answer questions on climate change.
The tower is being constructed out of steel that was brought thousands of kilometres from the south of Brazil to the site, about 160km (100 miles) from the Amazonian city of Manaus.
Because of its height, the tower will make it possible to investigate the alteration and movement of air masses through the forest over a distance of several hundred kilometres.
“The measurement point is widely without direct human influence, and therefore ideal to investigate the meaning of the forest region for the chemistry and physics of the atmosphere,” said Jurgen Kesselmeier, the project coordinator for the German side, quoted on the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz website.
The Amazon jungle is one of the world’s most sensitive ecosystems, with a powerful influence on the intake and release of carbon into the atmosphere.
“The tower will help us answer innumerable questions related to global climate change,” said Paulo Artaxo, from the University of Sao Paulo.
The tower will be integrated into an existing structure of smaller measuring towers in the region.
When finished, it will complement a similar observatory built in 2006 that already stands in Central Siberia.