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Univ. of Arizona receives $2.5 million to study Amazon forests and climate change
Date:11/19/2007

pical forest on Earth, Amazonia is a storehouse of carbon whose fate will influence the fate of climate change globally," said Saleska, also a member of Biosphere 2's science steering committee member and of UA's Institute for the Study of Planet Earth.

Saleska's co-principal investigators on the grant are Alfredo Huete, UA professor of soil, water and environmental science, W. James Shuttleworth, UA professor of hydrology and water resources and atmospheric sciences, and Steven C. Wofsy, professor of atmospheric and environmental science at Harvard University.

Other UA researchers participating in the project include Biosphere 2 Director Travis Huxman, an associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology; Brian Enquist, associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology; Timothy Finan, director of the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology; Joellen Russell, assistant professor of geosciences; and Scott Whiteford, director of UAs Center for Latin American Studies.

UA's partners on the project in Brazil are the University of So Paulo, the Federal University of Par, the National Institute for Amazonian Research (INPA), the Brazilian Agricultural Research Agency (EMBRAPA), and Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi, which runs one of the oldest field research stations in the Amazon. Harvard University is also a partner on the project.

One prominent global climate change model suggests that increased drought will cause the Amazon forests to collapse.

"Other models predict resilience, Saleska said.

Which model is right" This new project will allow us to start answering that question. The answer is critically important: A collapse obviously would be devastating to the Amazon - an area with such mystical appeal and tremendous biodiversity. But it could also be bad news for climate change globally because all the carbon in those trees would go into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, thereby significantly accelera
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Contact: Mari N. Jensen
mnjensen@email.arizona.edu
520-626-9635
University of Arizona  
Source:Eurekalert

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Univ. of Arizona receives $2.5 million to study Amazon forests and climate change
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