- BBC World, @bbc_ciencia
It will reach 325 meters high, but your goal will not be to enjoy the impressive views over the Amazon jungle.
The tower that has already begun to be erected in the heart of the Amazon is a joint project between Brazilian and German scientists and will be a privileged point of observation of the weather.
The instruments of the Torre Alta Amazon Observatory (ATTO, for its acronym in English) will obtain data on greenhouse gases, atmospheric aerosols (solid or liquid particles suspended in a gas) and the climate in the largest tropical forest on the planet .
The researchers hope to use that information to better understand the sources of gas emissions and answer key questions about climate change.
The huge structure is being built with steel transported from southern Brazil to the chosen site, in the Uatuma Sustainable Development Reserve 160km from the city of Manaus, capital of Amazonas state.
The new observatory will reach a height of 330m including its lightning rod system. As a comparison, the famous Eiffel Tower in Paris is 301 meters high and reaches 324 with the antenna installed on its top.
Jungle Weather Watcher
Thanks to its height, the tower will make it possible to investigate the alterations and movements of air masses through the jungle up to a distance of hundreds of kilometers.
“The measurement point is outside of direct human influence, and is therefore ideal for investigating the role of the jungle region in the chemistry and physics of the atmosphere,” said Jurgen Kesselmeier of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, coordinator of the German side project.
The Amazon rainforest is one of the most sensitive ecosystems in the world, with a powerful influence on the absorption and release of carbon into the atmosphere.
“The tower will help us answer many questions related to climate change,” explained Paulo Artaxo, from the University of Sao Paulo, part of the team of Brazilian scientists.
According to the Brazilian Amazon Research Institute (INPA), the two countries involved will invest US$3.2 million in the construction of the observatory, and expect to complete the works in November of this year.
The protruding framework will be integrated into a structure of smaller measurement towers that already exist in the region.
Once completed, it will be complemented by a similar observatory built in 2006 in Central Siberia.