Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Workshop assesses interactions between climate, forests and land use in the Amazon Basin

14.03.2008
On February 25 and 26, over 50 scientists gathered for a two-day workshop in Manaus, Brazil, to discuss the current state of knowledge on the feedbacks between deforestation and climate in the Amazon and what research is required to avoid catastrophic change.

Collaborators from the Woods Hole Research Center, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Duke University, Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazônia, Harvard University, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Oxford University, University of Edinburgh, The United Kingdom Meteorology Office and the Brazilian center for weather forecasting and climate studies (CPTEC) participated.

Professor Virgilio Viana, Secretary of Environment and Sustainable Development of Amazonas State, Brazil, opened the workshop with comments on the visionary program of the Amazonas State Government. Viana emphasized that Amazonas has become a model of sustainable, forest-based development by replacing the previous paradigm, which assumed that forests were nothing but unproductive land, with the understanding that forests are worth more standing than cut.

The workshop focused on how to reduce the risk of a vicious cycle of forest impoverishment in which forest clearing and degradation foster drought and further degradation. Dan Nepstad, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center acknowledged that forest die-back has already begun, noting that uncontrolled fires from poor farming practices were degrading large swaths of the southern Amazon and making them susceptible to further fires and drought. However, he also emphasized that it is a time of hope because large-scale conservation is gaining momentum, driven by the Brazilian government, which is implementing its "Amazon Region Protected Area" program to greatly expand and police protected areas and by commodities markets (soy, beef, ethanol), which are driving compliance with environmental and social legislation by farmers.

Throughout the workshop, scientists from the collaborating institutions gave short presentations of their current research, including work on the latest developments in the sophisticated computer programs required to address the fundamental questions of Amazonian ecological integrity and recent insights into the ways in which vegetation play an important role in the climate of the Amazon and the globe. Several important conclusions emerged from these talks and discussions: 1) clearing and forest fragmentation decreases local rainfall but only after a threshold of 100s km2 is deforested; 2) large scale deforestation of greater than 100,000 km2 appears to significantly decrease rainfall, not only where deforestation occurs, but over forested regions throughout the Amazon; and 3) the response of the river flow to deforestation is complicated and leads to unexpected results with decreased river flow in some streams and increased river flow in others depending on how much and where deforestation takes place.

Carlos Nobre, director of CPTEC, gave the closing address in which he emphasized the importance of focused investment in education and research to address this global issue. He outlined a program an ideal program that would create a Brazilian national program on Amazon ecology modeled after a one that has made Brazil one of the world leaders in the aerospace industry.

Michael Coe, an associate scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center and one of the workshop organizers, summarized, “This workshop was important because it brought together conservation organizations, scientists and policy makers. The outcomes of this workshop will help us develop a blueprint for our research efforts in the coming years on what may be one of the most important environmental questions:

What amount and location of forest is required to guarantee a healthy environment" This meeting will also help conservations organizations prepare for the future because as the results in this meeting showed, unfettered deforestation will have strong impacts on the health of the entire Amazon and local conservation efforts will result in significant returns.”

Elizabeth Braun | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.whrc.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Global threat to primates concerns us all
19.01.2017 | Deutsches Primatenzentrum GmbH - Leibniz-Institut für Primatenforschung

nachricht Reducing household waste with less energy
18.01.2017 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>