Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

NASA Plays Key Role In Largest Environmental Experiment In History

28.07.2004


Amazon-River


Human-Land


Researchers from around the globe participating in the world’s largest environmental science experiment, the Large-Scale Biosphere Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA), will, fittingly, convene in Brazil this week.

From July 27-29, some 800 researchers will attend the Third International Scientific Conference of the LBA in Brasilia, Brazil, to discuss key findings on how the world’s largest rainforest impacts the ecological health of Amazonia and the world. Never before has so much information about the Amazon been assembled for presentation at once.

LBA is partly funded by NASA. Also, scores of projects that feed the Amazon experiment depend heavily on NASA’s vast expertise in satellite information, computer modeling, and providing infrastructure for large-scale field campaigns.



The overall experiment concentrates on how the Amazon forest and land use changes within the region affect the atmosphere, and regional and global climate. In turn, LBA also studies how climate changes influence the biological, chemical and physical functioning of the forest itself.

Topics discussed at the conference will include: the carbon cycle, the water cycle, human land use, ecosystem processes and human health, agricultural applications, and other topics relating to the Amazon. The conference will also allow researchers and Brazilian policy makers to discuss ways to use LBA results to create public policies for the Amazon region that foster a healthy environment and provide for sustainable development.

NASA plays a key role in LBA research. Satellites provide data for studying land use changes and their impacts on climate. Scientists hope to learn more about the Amazon forest’s role in sequestering carbon from the atmosphere. Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) traps heat and adds to global warming. Plant life absorbs CO2 from the air during photosynthesis and stores it in stems, leaves and roots. In order to understand regional and global carbon balances, researchers must quantify how much carbon is taken up by the rainforest as well as how much is released back to the atmosphere when forests are cleared or burned.

In the Amazon, deforestation, selective logging, fires and forest re-growth all play major roles in the carbon balance. In the Brazilian Amazon region alone, annual clear-cutting and burning of forests cover about 20,000 square kilometers (7,700 square miles or about the area of New Jersey). NASA data products from various instruments on the Landsat series of satellites have documented the history of deforestation in the Amazon since the 1970s. LBA researchers have found ways to measure both logging area and logging damage using Landsat and experimental new sensors on NASA’s EO-1 satellite.

Ecosystem models and NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument aboard the Terra and Aqua satellites have helped scientists understand how the exchange of carbon between the forest and atmosphere differs over the course of the year. Also, LBA studies have found forest uptake of CO2 is not enough to keep pace with carbon that is returned to the atmosphere when forests are cut.Burning practices to clear fields for farming often result in fires spreading to adjacent forests. These large fires create air pollution and can contribute to respiratory problems in people. Thick smoke has forced airports to close, and has caused highway accidents. Satellite retrievals of concentrations of airborne particles from NASA’s MODIS instrument have been used by Brazil’s Center for Weather Prediction and Climate Studies to create models that can predict fire risk and smoke transport in near-real time.

Satellite data also help scientists study how particles from fires impact climate and weather. These particles, known as aerosols, can both heat and cool the air, depending on size, shape and color.

Scheduled to end in 2006, LBA is considered an international scientific success, with 61 projects completed and 59 in progress. The efforts include more than 1,000 researchers from institutions in Brazil, the United States, eight European countries and several other countries of the Amazon Basin (Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia and Ecuador). LBA is financed by Brazilian funding agencies, NASA and the European Union.

Krishna Ramanujan | NASA’s Earth Science News Team
Further information:
http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Climate change weakens Walker circulation
20.10.2017 | MARUM - Zentrum für Marine Umweltwissenschaften an der Universität Bremen

nachricht Shallow soils promote savannas in South America
20.10.2017 | Senckenberg Forschungsinstitut und Naturmuseen

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>