SAO PAULO – Brazil and Germany have opened the tallest environmental observation tower in Latin America, a 325-meter (1,065-foot) structure that will allow scientists to study the effects of climate change on the Amazon jungle, officials said.
The Amazonian Tall Tower Observatory, or ATTO, was inaugurated on Saturday and is the result of a scientific partnership between the governments of Brazil and Germany.
The $7.4 million tower was built in the Uatumã Sustainable Development Reserve, located about 150 kilometers (93 miles) from Manaus, the largest city in the Amazon.
The ATTO, which is taller than the Eiffel Tower, will help scientists monitor the effects of climate change on the area’s forests, considered one of the most sensitive ecosystems on Earth and an important element in climate stabilization.
The long-term goal is to use the ATTO to measure changes in the Amazon due to global climate change via monitoring of the interactions of plants with the atmosphere.
The tower will allow scientists to study the role of the Amazon ecosystem amid changing global climate patterns, the Brazilian government said.
“The tower’s large capacity for gathering information in its purest form and measuring indicators on the relationship between plant life and climate will be huge for science,” Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Aldo Rebelo said in a statement.
The partnership between Brazil and Germany, whose chancellor, Angela Merkel, visited the South American country last week, will be “beneficial for both countries and the world,” Rebelo said.
The ATTO is a joint project developed by Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, the Brazilian National Institute for Amazonian Research and the Federal University of Amazonas.
Brazil contributed about $3.7 million toward the project and Germany provided the remainder of the funds.