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 Deep decarbonization of industry is possible with innovations
25.03.2019 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Five-point plan to integrate recreational fishers into fisheries and nature conservation policy
20.03.2019 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

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: New gene potentially involved in metastasis identified

Gene named after Roman goddess Minerva as immune cells get stuck in the fruit fly’s head

Cancers that display a specific combination of sugars, called T-antigen, are more likely to spread through the body and kill a patient. However, what regulates...

Im Focus: The taming of the light screw

DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.

The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...

Im Focus: Magnetic micro-boats

Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.

The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...

Im Focus: Self-healing coating made of corn starch makes small scratches disappear through heat

Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.

Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Searching for disappeared anti-matter: A successful start to measurements with Belle II

26.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Extremely accurate measurements of atom states for quantum computing

26.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Listening to the quantum vacuum

26.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>