A key role in climate change is played by the Amozon Basin as it represents approximately 40% of all tropical forests worldwide, making it one of the largest carbon reservoirs of the planet. The equilibrium of this ecosystem has long been disturbed. On one hand, deforestation by the local population and on the other an increasing global temperature (inducing reduction in precipitation) is causing an ongoing degradation which is expected to be more pervasive in the coming decades.
Climate change projections suggest that the Amazon Basin is caught in a vicious circle. As the land use changes it promotes climate change, which in turn degrades the Amazonian flora further inducing climate change.
The mission of the Cooperation to Unravel the RolE of Atmospheric Aerosols over the Amazon Basin (CURE-3AB) is to provide high quality vertical profiles of key atmospheric pollutants relevant to air quality and climate change at the heart of the Amazon Basin.
Located within the Amazon forest is the Amazon Tall Tower Observatory (ATTO), a facility taller than the Eiffel tower, dedicated for the observation of atmospheric pollutants. However, the entire profile of the troposphere cannot be fully accounted for using ATTO alone.
The Cyprus Atmospheric Observatory intends to fill in the gap using small sensors integrated onto unmanned aerial vehicles. Collaboration with the Unmanned Systems Research Laboratory has yielded capability to measure vertically resolved ozone and aerosol size fraction concentrations in the densely forested environment of the Amazon Basin.
The project INTERNATIONAL/OTHER/0118/0108 (CURE-3AB) is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the Research and Innovation Foundation