Amazonia is a key environment for the global climate, controlling the water cycle and transport of heat and moisture from the tropics to temperate zones in South America. With agricultural and livestock expansion, this delicate ecosystem has undergone severe changes in recent decades, with strong implications for the hydrological and energy cycle. In this work, we aim to understand how changes in the Amazon ecosystem, due to deforestation and forest fires, modify cloud life cycle and the radiative balance of the region. We will also assess the contribution of sea surface temperature and soil temperature changes, associated with the increase of greenhouse gases, for the development of clouds. These are some of the main challenges in the cloud study, circulation and climate sensitivity, according to the WCRP (World Climate Research Programme).Nearly 30 years of simultaneous observations from several platforms and meteorological reanalysis data will be analyzed to investigate the complex interactions between clouds, surface, aerosol, meteorology and radiation. Multivariate statistical analysis and radiative transfer models will be used to help us identify the role of each climate component for the convection and radiation cycles. For the first time, long-term observations will be used to investigate the association between clouds cycle and radiation in the Amazon Basin. The results obtained in this project could be used to improve climate models, helping us move towards the understanding of the processes involved in cloud formation and development in Amazonia. The scientific objectives proposed in this work are part of FAPESP's thematic project GoAmazon (2013/05014-0).
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: