Brazil and the United Kingdom are strengthening cooperation in climate science and planning the next steps in a project to study what the Amazon rainforest will look like in the future.

Brazil and the United Kingdom are strengthening cooperation in climate science and planning the next steps in a project to study what the Amazon rainforest will look like in the future.

The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI), through the Secretariat for Strategic Policies and Programmes, met with representatives of the United Kingdom on Monday (14) to assess the possibility of expanding cooperation in science and technology from the AmazonFACE project. The largest and first trial using FACE technology (Free-air CO2 enrichment) in tropical forests. When fully operational, the experiment should generate more than a decade of scientific data.

“We must prepare ourselves to answer questions that lie at the frontiers of knowledge. “We need to measure the impact of climate change in the future,” said Marcia Barbosa, Secretary of Seppe.

AmazonFACE is a scientific project of MCTI, coordinated by the Met Office in international collaboration with the National Institute for Research in the Amazon (INBA) and the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), British Government. “This is an excellent research infrastructure to understand how the Amazon will respond to climate change in the future. Because it is so large and important in the global context, the Amazon affects the climate of the Amazon, South America and the entire planet,” explains Carlos Alberto Quesada, an INPA researcher and one of the scientific coordinators of the project.

According to the researcher, what the atmosphere will look like in 30 or 50 years will be simulated to study how the increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere will interfere with the behavior of the forest. One hypothesis is that in warmer and drier climates, the forests lacked the characteristics they have today and, perhaps, adopted characteristics similar to the Cerrado. But hypotheses that suggest plants can use water more efficiently as there is more carbon in the atmosphere, more robust to withstand climate change, will be tested experimentally.

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“We need to know which way Amazon is going: if it stops growing or if it gets worse. AmazonFace is our window into the future, a forecast of what might happen in the future and all the implications it might have,” says Quesada.

Strategic Plan on Climate Science Collaboration – According to Melanie Hopkins, British Ambassador to Brazil, the history of collaboration between Brazil and the UK in climate science dates back to the 1960s, when British scientists from the Met Office began working with their Brazilian counterparts. For the British, says Hopkins, AmazonFACE is a strategic project capable of generating information with global application.

“What’s interesting about AmazonFace is that it’s useful for policymaking in a number of important areas. For us, AmazonFACE is a truly strategic project because it tries to answer the question: How will climate change affect the entire ecosystem that supports the Amazon rainforest, biodiversity and humanity as a whole? “The use of AmazonFACE will be important for Brazilian scientists and policy makers, but it will also have global application,” explained the Deputy Ambassador.

Councilor for Climate, Nature and Agriculture Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), Clare Lewis, Head of Science and Innovation at the UK Embassy in Brazil, David Lloyd-Davies and AmazonFACE Project Manager at the Embassy, ​​Adriana Alcantara.

Investments – Received £2.25 million (about R$ 17 million) in funding from the British government, managed by the Met Office, the United Kingdom’s national weather service. The Brazilian government, through MCTI, is investing BRL 32 million in AmazonFACE. The funding comes from the Transversal Action of the National Fund for Science and Technology Development (FNDCT). This amount will be enough to build a research infrastructure consisting of six rings of 16 aluminum towers each with a diameter of 30 meters. There are three rings saturated with carbon dioxide and three control rings with ambient air. Soon, the first two rings of the experiment will be ready.

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View photos from the meeting In this connection.

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