The use of rain forests in the Amazon must be based on a solid scientific understanding of the environment . New techniques are successful only when its methods and objects consider the environmental factors and demands. The natural ecosystem understanding leads the necessary distinguish to the concept of sustainable systems, which may emulate the biological adaptations that develop in the particular environmental conditions found in the Amazon. Nowadays we have an incomplete understanding of how the Amazon behaves as an integrated environmental system and how its various ecosystems respond to the anthropological interference. The LBA Project (Large Scale Biosphere Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia) has the object of generate new knowledge necessary to the comprehension of the Amazon environment. The LBA is an international research project leaded by Brazil. Researchers from different areas worked on this project: chemists, physicists, biologists, meteorologists, agronomists, hydrologists, and others. The questions the researcher teams are analyzing are:
- How does Amazonia currently function as a regional entity?
How will the changes in land use and climate affect the biological, chemical
and physical properties of Amazonia, including its the sustainability of
development in the region and the influence of Amazonia on the global climate?
In LBA context there are various projects, one is AMC Project (Atmospheric Mesoscale Campaign Project) and other is CIRSAN (in portuguese, "CIRculações locais em SANtarém", which means, Local Circulations in Santarém).
During January and February of 1999 (between January 15th and February 28th) the first campaign of intensive measures of the AMC/LBA was done in Rondônia, which was entitled WET, corresponding with the rain season. This campaign was done with the participation of researchers from São Paulo State from INPE, USP, CTA and UNESP and universities in other states (UFPA, UFAL, UFRJ, UFSM, UNIR, ULBRA), as well as the collaboration of IBAMA, INCRA and IAMÁ, all of these somehow related to environmental research. There was also the participation of NASA and the European Community trough more than a hundred researchers. All of these efforts seek an increase on our Amazon knowledge and the impacts of deforestation either as a regional and global point of view, at this time on the rainy season. The measures taken are very diverse and involve very high technology, including Doppler Radars, for rain and wind detection; instrumented airplanes for measures inside and around clouds; instruments of measures in the soil-vegetation-atmosphere interface set up on towers in forests and deforested areas. These towers measure the concentration of trace gases, aerosols, and greenhouse effect gases; instrumented balloons, that measure the atmosphere up to 25 km. In other words, a huge amount of instruments based on the most advanced technology. Besides, NASA will be using the data collected to calibrate the TRMM satellite (Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission), a mission called TRMM Global Validation Campaigns.
Another campaign will be done in Rondônia and Mato Grosso between September and December 2002. This campaign will collect the data between tropical rain dry and rain seasons, therefore is entitled DRY TO WET.
Smaller campaigns are also done. One of them is the CIRSAN, which was in the region of Santarém city, Pará, during July and August 2001. The objective of this campaign was the research of local circulations characteristics around the experimental sites of LBA Project in National Tapajós Forest and neighborhood areas.
It is important to take this opportunity to acknowledge the national efforts of Brazil involved in this endeavor and the big international interest that it induces. It is also an educational opportunity, showing that different research areas in Brazil put together to tackle environment related problems of great social and political relevance.