U.S. and Brazilian research agencies recently awarded funding for six different research projects in an international effort to understand the ecological and atmospheric interactions within Brazil's Amazon Basin. Funded in part by the U.S. Department of Energy's Atmospheric System Research (ASR), these three-year research projects will complement the ARM Green Ocean Amazon, or GOAmazon, field campaign.

From January 2014 through December 2015, numerous instrumented sites around the megacity of Manaus will obtain measurements of clouds, aerosols, precipitation, energy, and surface heat and moisture. Researchers will analyze these data to better understand land-to-atmosphere processes in the Amazon rainforest and how these processes, including human influences, affect tropical hydrology and climate.

These awards represent the first collaborative research opportunity between the DOE's ASR, Regional and Global Climate Modeling (RGCM), and Terrestrial Ecosystem Science (TES) programs, along with Brazilian state research agencies Fundação de Apoio á Pesquisa do Estado do Amazonas, or Amazonas Research Foundation (FAPEAM) and Fundação de Apoio á Pesquisa do Estado do São Paulo, or São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP).

Each DOE award funds successful U.S. applicants to the DOE announcement, and Brazilian collaborators from the states of Amazonas or Sao Paulo are funded, respectively, by FAPEAM and FAPESP. Collaborative proposals were reviewed by a jointly selected peer review panel of scientific experts and selected by mutual agreement of DOE, FAPESP and FAPEAM. In total, the U.S. Department of Energy is investing $5.6 million for these collaborative projects, with comparable funding by FAPEAM and FAPESP for collaborators within their states.

Out of thirty proposals reviewed, the agencies selected the following six project teams for funding:

Brazil-USA Collaborative Research: Modifications by Anthropogenic Pollution of the Natural Atmospheric Chemistry & Particle Microphysics of the Tropical Rain

  • Scot Martin, Harvard University
  • Henrique Barbosa, University of São Paulo
  • Rodrigo Souza, University of the State of Amazonas

Bridging Land-Surface Fluxes and Aerosol Concentrations to Triggering Convective Rainfall

  • Marcelo Chamecki, Penn State University
  • Celso von Randow, Brazilian National Institute for Space Research
  • Antonio Manzi, National Institute for Research in the Amazon

Collaborative Research on Ecophysiological Controls on Amazonian Precipitation Seasonality and Variability

  • Jung-Eun Lee, Brown University
  • Laura De Simone Borma, Brazilian National Institute for Space Research

Understanding the Response of Photosynthetic Metabolism in Tropical Forests to Seasonal Climate Variations

  • Dennis Dye, U.S. Geological Survey
  • Luiz Aragao, Brazilian National Institute for Space Research
  • Marciel Ferreira, Federal University of Amazonas

Multi-scale Processes Driving Tropical Convection and Influence of the Aerosol

  • Carlos Mechoso, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Tercio Ambrizzi, University of São Paulo

Understanding the Causes of the Biases that Determine the Onset of the Rainy Season in Amazonia in Climate Models Using the GoAmazon-CHUVA Measurements

  • Rong Fu, University of Texas
  • Jose Orsini, Brazilian National Institute for Space Research
  • For more information, visit the GOAMAZON webpage.