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Nearly a quarter of the way through their two-year project, a team of scientists deployed to Brazil’s Amazon Basin is unraveling the mysteries of how land and atmospheric processes affect tropical hydrology and climate. Their work will go far toward improving the climate-prediction computer models on which scientists and policymakers rely for future climate-related planning.
“Our job is to go into climatically undersampled regions where there’s not a lot of data,” said Kim Nitschke, leader of the Los Alamos National Laboratory-based Field Instrument Deployments and Operations (FIDO) team. “Our measurements are aimed at fine-tuning climate modeling, both for more accurate design, and then for verification of conditions at specific locations.”
The experiment, Green Ocean Amazon (GOAmazon), has been underway since January 2014 and nearly 100 collaborators from the US, Germany and Brazil will be studying the rainforest through December 2015. The scientists and their technical assistants have been placing instruments at various sites in Brazil’s Amazon Basin, examining solar radiative energy, atmospheric moisture profiles, and measuring clouds’ and aerosols’ microphysical and chemical properties.
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