BRASILIA. KAZINFORM - On Wednesday (May 24), the British government announced a £2 million contribution (approx. BRL12.3 million) to an Amazon Forest project. The announcement coincided with UK Minister for Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Affairs James Cleverly's visit to the AmazonFACE research station, situated around 80 km north of Manaus in Amazonas state, where the project's towers are being assembled, Kazinform cites Agencia Brasil.
The UK's contribution to AmazonFACE now reaches a total of £7.3 million (approx. BRL45 million) since 2021. Additionally, the Brazilian government, as stated by Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation Luciana Santos, has invested BRL32 million in the project.
The ministry highlights that the findings from AmazonFACE will enhance the global scientific community's understanding of how the largest tropical rainforest can contribute to mitigating climate change while improving its vulnerability assessment to global warming.
«AmazonFACE represents the main scientific cooperation project between the two nations. The UK holds the position of Brazil's second-largest science and technology partner, engaging in collaboration across more than 700 bilateral research initiatives during the past seven years,» the ministry highlighted.
The experiment aims to answer the following global question: «How will climate change affect the Amazon Forest, its biodiversity, and the ecosystem services it provides to humanity? AmazonFACE achieves this by evaluating the rainforest's capacity to respond to heightened levels of carbon dioxide (CO₂) and studying the resulting effects on global climate, biodiversity, and ecosystems.
The experiment uses FACE (Free Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment) technology. It consists of releasing air enriched with carbon dioxide over vegetation and monitoring its responses. This will help, according to the ministry's explanations, to understand how the increase in CO₂ modifies leaves, roots, soil, water, and nutrient cycles in the Amazon rainforest.
The impact around the experiment area in the Amazon will be minimal and all the carbon released will be compensated by planting trees in areas bordering deforestation. The technology exists since the 1990s and has been implemented in temperate forest projects in the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom. AmazonFACE is the only one in tropical forests.
According to the ministry, to run the experiment, the rings (plots) are being built in a territory reserved for research in the Amazon rainforest. Each ring has 16 towers 35 meters high and 30 meters in diameter, which surround about 50 adult trees. It is through these towers that the CO₂-containing air will be released. Monitoring sensors that measure the concentration of CO₂ in the air will also be attached to them. In total, there will be six rings in operation by early 2024. Each ring will also have a crane about 50 meters high that will allow scientists to collect materials and observe what happens above the canopy.