Brazil-UK Network for Investigation of Amazonian Atmospheric Composition and Impacts on Climate

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Earth Atmospheric and Env Sciences


The BUNIAACIC collaboration aims to develop a coherent strategy for UK studies of atmospheric composition and impacts in the Amazon.

A network of Brazilian and UK atmospheric researchers will be established to scope potential collaborative opportunities by exploiting and extending the infrastructural framework of the FAPESP AEROCLIMA Thematic Grant. An early secondment of CAS staff to São Paulo followed by a broad kick-off workshop will be used to initiate the scoping study. Potential UK activities at various stages of development will be drawn into a broader strategy of International collaboration and opportunities for further consortium scale activities will be developed. A UK office for collaboration on Amazonian atmospheric research will be established at the University of Manchester. The long-term particulate monitoring programme within AEROCLIMA will be expanded to include online aerosol composition measurements at the pristine rainforest site. Secondment of São Paulo staff to CAS will ensure adequate training is provided in the operation of the instrumentation, data analysis and quality control. A pump-priming pilot scale intensive deployment of the CAS container laboratory with additional particulate measurement instrumentation will be used to i) validate the long-term measurements, ii) quantitatively interpret the impacts of aerosol composition on physical properties of climate relevance in the context of the long-term variability, iii) act as a focal measurement suite around which a broader consortium-scale activity can be developed. A strategy for the medium and longer term collaborative efforts will be developed based on the initial scoping study and consultation throughout the UK research community. This strategy will be consolidated into a White Paper outlining the Brazil-UK collaborative opportunities and recommended participation of UK groups in Amazonian atmospheric research.

Planned Impact

Two broad climatically relevant concerns related to activities in this proposal have important impacts on global change. The first is the quantification of the impacts of land use in Amazonia on atmospheric composition and processes. Deforestation rates in Brazil were reduced from 27,000 km^2 in 2004 to 6,500 km^2 in 2010 (Artaxo, 2010). This very substantial reduction will have an important impact in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Brazilian government have passed a law in congress to reduce deforestation by 80% in 2015 compared to 2004. It is almost certain to reach this target before 2015. It is important to develop atmospheric sciences in Amazonia in order to track the strong changes in emissions and the basin wide effects of these reductions, along with the direct changes in the influence of BB aerosol from reduction in burning associated with reduction in deforestation. A second important role that BUNIAACIC will address is the role of aerosols in cloud formation and development and hence in the radiation balance in pristine conditions such as found in Amazonia.
The Pathways to Impact of the BUNIAACIC programme are largely embedded throughout the programme. There is a substantial networking element that will directly bring together "sharp-end" researchers in atmospheric processes in the UK and Brazil at an early stage in the programme. This will directly involve the investigators and all partners with the majority of the networking effort being made by the CAS PDRA, Dr Whitehead. By capitalising on an existing Brazilian network and on formative efforts from the UK, BUNIAACIC has the potential to derive immediate added value. The Initial workshop, site visits and establishment of the UK office will all engage observational scientists and reach out to the UK atmospheric modelling community in coordination with Brazilian efforts. The early engagement of the Met Office will ensure that the scale-up modelling is directly integrated into the programme.
The impacts in terms of transfer of technology for atmospheric research is a key aspect of this proposal. CAS have very substantial experience and expertise in aerosol composition monitoring and will directly transfer this to the seconded operator of the ACSM instrument. It is important to adequately train scientists from Latin America on the frontiers of atmospheric sciences.
The Long-term and short-term deployments will both act as pump-priming activities for the development of further larger-scale collaborations, most likely through a consortium proposal. As the programme develops, it will become evident whether the short-term deployment in WP3 will be able to directly act as the core around which a consortium can be assembled, or whether it can most efficiently be used to provide preliminary results to build a consortium proposal around. The timing of the activities will be optimised to ensure that the deployment fulfils whichever role is determined to be most suitable.
One of the key deliverables of BUNIAACIC is the White Paper outlining the optimal strategy for UK atmospheric research in Amazonia. The engagement of all interested parties in the development and dissemination of the White Paper throughout the process is a key goal of the network. The network will be advertised broadly through the NERC and FAPESP communities and the final workshop opened up accordingly.

For more generalised dissemination and to raise the network profile, a website will be created and continuously updated, containing general information and highlights of the collaboration. This will be maintained by the PDRA and hosted on the CAS website to no cost to the project. In addition, members of the UoM group also produce a regular podcast on atmospheric science ('The Barometer', and we will use this to present both an articulation of the drivers and reasoning for the BUNIAACIC network.


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Description The BUNIAACIC collaboration developed a coherent strategy for UK studies of atmospheric composition and impacts in the Amazon. It was intended to address a number of immediate short-timescale material objectives, as follows: i) skill development and knowledge exchange through training in instrument operation and data analysis for University of São Paulo AMS operators, hence; ii) enhancement of long-term aerosol property data delivery through online particle composition measurements; These first of these objectives was addressed and the second enabled by an intensive training activity performed at the ground-based monitoring station at Porto Velho, coinciding with the international SAMBBA biomass burning field project deployment. BUNIAACIC is a joint FAPESP-NERC initiative and our partners in the programme at the University of São Paulo had just taken delivery of the first of the Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitors (ACSM) in Brazil. Our most experienced Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (AMS) operator provided training in operational and data analytical skills for the simpler ACSM instrument throughout the month of September, 2012. Continued long-term deployment of the first ACSM and expansion to include 2 further instruments fully delivered on objective ii) iii) evaluation of the performance of the long-term monitoring instrument through comparison with intensive measurement by additional instrumentation; iv) intensive measurements of additional aerosol properties for direct linkage between aerosol composition and optical / microphysical properties; v) quantification of the impact of measured BSOA and BPOA on climatically important behaviour related to their potential to impact on direct and indirect radiative forcing. The three objectives were be fulfilled by the field deployment to be carried out over the coming few months. Instruments were deployed at the TT34 measurement station north of Manaus in June 2013. Non-refractory particle chemical composition will be measured using the High Resolution Aerodyne Time of Flight Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (HRToF- AMS) for direct comparison with that measured by the long-term ACSM. A Hygroscopicity Tandem Differential Mobility Analyser (HTDMA) measured particle growth factors (< 10% to 90% RH) and assessed the mixing states of the aerosol. Cloud droplet activation potential of size resolved particles was derived from a CCN counter sampling monodisperse aerosol from a Differential Mobility Particle Sizer (DMPS), from which the dry aerosol size distribution will also be recorded. A Multi Angle Absorption Spectrometer (MAAP) quantified the contribution of black carbon (BC). A WIBS-3 dual channel UV fluorescence instrument was used to detect bioaerosols, primary biogenic particles which may significantly contribute to organic aerosol mass and coarse mode and IN number. The instrument provided rapid realtime measurement of the number size distributions of total and biologically-derived particles. There were a further two strategic planning and infrastructure development objectives, as follows: vi) construction of a White Paper outlining the recommended strategic methodology for UK participation in Amazonian atmospheric research; Two large meetings were carried out between UK and Brazilian personnel to investigate activities of mutual interest that could be envisaged within existing and forthcoming funding frameworks. From 15th - 17th February 2012, we held our kickoff meeting at the LBA offices at INPA in Manaus, Brazil. UK scientists from the Universities of Manchester, Lancaster, York, Leeds and Leicester, the Met Office and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology met like-minded scientists from across Brazil for three days of discussion and exchange of ideas. A number of the participants gave presentations describing their interests in the collaboration. One day was spent visiting the lidar site at Embrapa and the measurement towers at ZF2, north of Manaus. This provided an opportunity to scope out potential locations for the pump-priming deployment and other activities. A follow up meeting in the UK was held from 2nd - 3rd July 2012, the follow-up meeting was held at the University of Manchester, UK, involving both UK and Brazilian stakeholders. The first day was largely occupied by progress updates on existing projects. Discussions then moved on to opportunities to engage with NERC's Human-modified Tropical Forests program, with input from experts in the field of biodiversity. Material and notes from both meetings can be accessed through the project webpages (some restricted to meeting participants). Outcomes from the discussions were consolidation into a webform for stakeholder consultation prior to construction of a White Paper draft for wider circulation. vii) follow-up activities including a Newton Fellowship and further IOF activity with more extensive deployment of instrumentation, aiming to characterise the roles of VOCs on Amazonian particle and cloud formation. The intensive deployment is intended to act as a pump-priming activity for the development of further larger-scale collaborations, most likely through a consortium proposal. Discussions to this end with our project partners and UK stakeholders are ongoing.
Exploitation Route Outcomes from discussions surrounding the White Paper have been the subject of follow-up communication and consolidation into a webform for stakeholder consultation prior to construction of the White Paper draft for wider circulation. The draft was used in construction of a research proposal for follow-up Brazilian initiatives. The intensive deployment acted as pump-priming for the development of further larger-scale collaborations through a Royal Society Newton Fellowship for Henrique Barbosa from USP and through a IOF activity by James Allan of the University of Manchester.
Sectors Environment

Description Royal Society Newton Fellowship, jointly with Henrique Barbosa from University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
Amount £72,000 (GBP)
Organisation The Royal Society 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2015 
End 03/2017
Description International Partnership for Amazonian Atmospheric Research 
Organisation Universidade de São Paulo
Country Brazil 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Established a network for joint UK-Brazilian research into Amazonian atmospheric composition. Participation in joint fieldwork in Amazonia.
Collaborator Contribution Established a network for joint UK-Brazilian research into Amazonian atmospheric composition. Participation in joint fieldwork in Amazonia. Hosting of field measurement campaign.
Impact Dataset from field experiment (currently under quality assurance and analysis). Draft White Paper for ongoing UK-Brazilian cooperation on atmospheric research in Amazonia. Joint collaborative manuscript published. Follow-on activities funded through Royal Society Newton Fellowship of Henrique Barbosa, USP, Brazil.
Start Year 2010