The Amazon Basin is a key component of the global carbon cycle, containing one-half of the world's undisturbed tropical forest and accounting for ~10% of global terrestrial net primary productivity. Current estimates of carbon fluxes in Amazonia at the regional and Basin scale fall into the"missing scale" in carbon cycle science due to a) dearth of CO2 observations over the continent to constrain the inverse models and b) lack of independently validated methodologies to scale up local measurements.
We plan extensive airborne measurements over the Brazilian Amazon to cover horizontal scales of 100~1000 km, altitudes 0.15~12 km and most daytime hours, closely coordinated with ground measurements at LBA towers and at a new coastal station (INPE-Natal). We plan to conduct this study during both wet and dry seasons to capture the seasonal variability and to complement LBA airborne remote-sensing missions. Proposed regional experiments over natural and disturbed ecosystems will deliver regional carbon fluxes over different land surfaces: e.g., forests near Santarem and the developed vs. undeveloped districts of Rondonia. Large-scale transects will yield Basin-scale flux over the whole of Amazonia.
Measurements are scheduled to begin in the summer of 2002.