National Institute for Space Research
Campos, Brazil

The National Institute for Space Research is a research unit of the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology, whose main goals are fostering scientific research and technological applications and qualifying personnel in the fields of space and atmospheric science, space engineering, and space technology. While INPE is the civilian research center for aerospace activities, the Brazilian Air Force's General Command for Aerospace Technology is the military arm. INPE is located in the city of São José dos Campos, São Paulo. Wikipedia.

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Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-COG | Phase: ERC-CoG-2014 | Award Amount: 2.27M | Year: 2015

Severe droughts in Amazonia in 2005 and 2010 caused widespread loss of carbon from the terrestrial biosphere. This loss, almost twice the annual fossil fuel CO2 emissions in the EU, suggests a large sensitivity of the Amazonian carbon balance to a predicted more intense drought regime in the next decades. This is a dangerous inference though, as there is no scientific consensus on the most basic metrics of Amazonian carbon exchange: the gross primary production (GPP) and its response to moisture deficits in the soil and atmosphere. Measuring them on scales that span the whole Amazon forest was thus far impossible, but in this project I aim to deliver the first observation-based estimate of pan-Amazonian GPP and its drought induced variations. My program builds on two recent breakthroughs in our use of stable isotopes (13C, 17O, 18O) in atmospheric CO2: (1) Our discovery that observed C in CO2 in the atmosphere is a quantitative measure for vegetation water-use efficiency over millions of square kilometers, integrating the drought response of individual plants. (2) The possibility to precisely measure the relative ratios of 18O/16O and 17O/16O in CO2, called 17O. Anomalous 17O values are present in air coming down from the stratosphere, but this anomaly is removed upon contact of CO2 with leaf water inside plant stomata. Hence, observed 17O values depend directly on the magnitude of GPP. Both C and 17O measurements are scarce over the Amazon-basin, and I propose more than 7000 new measurements leveraging an established aircraft monitoring program in Brazil. Quantitative interpretation of these observations will break new ground in our use of stable isotopes to understand climate variations, and is facilitated by our renowned numerical modeling system CarbonTracker. My program will answer two burning question in carbon cycle science today: (a) What is the magnitude of GPP in Amazonia? And (b) How does it vary over different intensities of drought?

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2011.4.1.3-1 | Award Amount: 9.16M | Year: 2011

GEOWOW (GEOSS Interoperability for Weather, Ocean and Water) is the responds to call ENV.2011.4.1.3-1 Inter-operable integration of shared Earth Observations in the Global Context. The objectives of GEOWOW are to: Propose and validate a distributed architectural model federating Earth observation and other Earth Science data holdings, including specific communities infrastructures, and put this model forward as the European contribution to the GEOSS Common Infrastructure (GCI) and its evolution toward a wider GEOSS architecture; Develop innovative methods for harmonized access and use of heterogeneous data, services, and models to foster the sharing of knowledge among multiple disciplines, and the more integrated assessment and understanding necessary to advance global sustainability research; Contribute to the GCI interoperability, standardisation and operability via developments and evolution; Develop and support services for data dissemination, access, use (and processing) for the selected SBAs, contributing to the development of assessment tools and monitoring methods for sustainable development; Establish, harmonise and promote data sharing and usage procedures consistent with the GEOSS Data Sharing Implementation Guidelines, and contribute to the development of the GEOSS Data CORE. Provide harmonized and fast data access for meteorological hazards/extreme events, e.g., floods, including pre-processing services aimed at making the data of immediate use; Deploy an e-infrastructure giving access to in-situ and satellite data as needed by hydrological application and Run-off process; Support and enhance the access to in-situ and satellite ocean observations, to information on threats to ocean ecosystems, and to key ocean forecasts and projections - for research and assessment. A particular focus will be on supporting inter-disciplinary interoperability and on the use of semantics for enhanced discovery of data in the selected SBAs domains.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: ENV.2011.4.1.4-1 | Award Amount: 4.12M | Year: 2011

AGRICAB aims to strengthen Earth Observation (EO) capacities in Africa by building on the open data sharing through GEONETCast, connecting the available satellite and other data with predictive models in order to facilitate integration in agriculture and forestry planning and management processes. Dedicated national applications in various African countries are designed to address particular policy issues related to livestock, crop systems and forest management. Through these applications, twinning partnerships are developed between a European and an African partner, to maximize knowledge transfer and integration. Experiences learned will form a good basis for regional trainings to the member states of the Observatoire du Sahara et du Sahel (OSS) in Tunisia, the Regional Centre for Mapping Resources for Development (RCMRD) in Kenya and the AGRHYMET regional centre in Niger, covering almost the entire African continent. These activities will be linked with Africa-wide management and research initiatives and programmes on Forest and Agriculture and builds on experiences from the GEONETCast for and by Developing Countries (DevCoCast) and Global Monitoring for Food Security (GMFS) projects.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SPA.2010.1.1-04 | Award Amount: 2.92M | Year: 2011

In the entire world we are experiencing changing water resources needs mainly as a result of changes in land use. In developing countries the occupation of natural areas by agriculture is a major cause; economical reasons pushed by world globalization play also a major role. In both cases further global changes are expected as a result of climate change. Water availability is essential for socio-economic activities and citizens expect catchment managers to take the necessary measures for assuring quantity and quality for direct and indirect human consumption. The knowledge of the processes determining water fate, actual reserves and the capacity to forecast water consumption are essential for catchment managers decision making. Land use change drives the modification of three interdependent global variables of the watershed: evapotranspirated water, biomass production and soil organic matter content. The assessment of the consequences of land use changes requires the capacity for studying those global variables on an integrated way. Catchment models can simulate those interactions together with all the processes that determine plant dynamics and are major tools for integrated studies, essential to decision makers. The MyWater project aims at developing a water management system integrating satellite data, models and in situ data in order to improve knowledge and create the forecasting capabilities necessary to catchment managers, and at the same time optimizing the ratio cost/benefit of water resources monitoring. The specific products of the project are: 1) A webGIS data tool; 2) Tools for improving operational model exploitation; 3) Training and technological transfer. The MyWater consortium includes representatives of the type of users expected. For that reason the consortium includes European, African and Latin-American teams to work in selected case studies (Portugal, Greece, Netherlands, Mozambique and Brazil).

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: ENV.2011.1.1.5-1 | Award Amount: 4.76M | Year: 2011

AMAZALERT will enable raising the alert about critical feedbacks between climate, society, land-use change, vegetation change, water availability and policies in Amazonia. We will: 1) analyze and improve coupled models of global climate and Amazon, land use, vegetation and socio-economic drivers to quantify anthropogenic and climate induced land-use and land cover change and non-linear, irreversible feedbacks among these components 2) assess the role of regional and global policies and societal responses in the Amazon region for altering the trajectory of land-use change in the face of climate change and other anthropogenic factors and finally 3) propose i) an Early Warning System for detecting any imminent irreversible loss of Amazon ecosystem services, ii) policy response strategies to prevent such loss. We first prioritise the functions of Amazonia and threats to these. We then will analyse uncertainties in biogeochemistry, land cover (vegetation), land-use change and regional hydrology , as well as nonlinear responses and feedbacks using existing and new simulations from state of the art models in which land surface is coupled to global climate. The way in which policies and possible future response strategies of policy makers, trade and economy will affect land-use change will be modelled. This will lead to (A) understanding the impact on and effectiveness of a range of international and regional policy options, including REDD\; and (B) identification of both biophysical and socio-economic indicators of irreversible change. AMAZALERT integrates the multidisciplinary knowledge and research of world-renowned, highly influential climate, land cover, land use change scientists and also policy analysts from 14 European and South-American institutions that have been collaborating for 10 to 30 years. Thus, this project can achieve maximum impact on EU (2020 climate goals), international and South-American strategies, including REDD

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2012.6.1-1 | Award Amount: 11.79M | Year: 2012

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) sponsored the Global Framework on Climate Services (GFCS) where the need for actionable climate information for periods from several months up to several years for economic, industrial and political planning has been expressed. However, progress in seasonal forecasting has been slow and decadal forecasting is still incipient. At the same time, new model components to address the role of sea ice, land surface, stratosphere, ocean and their resolution in global models are now available from the climate change and weather forecasting communities. Methods for sophisticated downscaling and calibration for local, reliable climate predictions are scarce in Europe. In this context, SPECS aims to identify the main problems in climate prediction and investigate a battery of solutions from a seamless perspective. SPECS will undertake research and dissemination activities to deliver a new generation of European climate forecast systems, with improved forecast quality and efficient regionalisation tools to produce reliable, local climate information over land at seasonal-to-decadal time scales, and provide an enhanced communication protocol and services to satisfy the climate information needs of a wide range of public and private stakeholders. The improved understanding and seamless predictions will offer better estimates of the future frequency of high-impact,extreme climatic events and of the prediction uncertainty. New services to convey climate information and its quality will be used. SPECS will be,among other things, the glue to coalesce the outcome of previous researchefforts that hardly took climate prediction into account. SPECS will ensure interoperability so as to easily incorporate their application in an operational context, provide the basis for improving the capacity of European policy making, industry and society to adapt to near-future climate variations and a coordinated response to some of the GFCS components.

Lahsen M.,National Institute for Space Research
Climatic Change | Year: 2013

As has been widely documented, lavishly funded media campaigns by political and financial elites and corporations with vested interests against climate policy are a central instigator of the climate backlash and a threat to democratic processes. However, it would behoove the environmental coalition, including sympathizing academics, to reflect on how they help create conditions that enable and magnify the impact of the backlash campaigns and incidents such as Climategate. This editorial argues that prevalent idealized understandings of science increase public vulnerability to backlash campaigns, and that academic analysts reinforce these understandings when they avoid to perform critical analyses of the science and scientists promoting concern about climate change. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Kane R.P.,National Institute for Space Research
Annales Geophysicae | Year: 2010

Severe storms (Dst) and Forbush decreases (FD) during cycle 23 showed that maximum negative Dst magnitudes usually occurred almost simultaneously with the maximum negative values of the B z component of interplanetary magnetic field B, but the maximum magnitudes of negative Dst and B z were poorly correlated (+0.28). A parameter B z(CP) was calculated (cumulative partial B z) as sum of the hourly negative values of B z from the time of start to the maximum negative value. The correlation of negative Dst maximum with B z(CP) was higher (+0.59) as compared to that of Dst with B z alone (+0.28). When the product of B z with the solar wind speed B z (at the hour of negative B z maximum) was considered, the correlation of negative Dst maximum with B z was +0.59 and with B z(CP), 0.71. Thus, including V improved the correlations. However, ground-based Dst values have a considerable contribution from magnetopause currents (several tens of nT, even exceeding 100 nT in very severe storms). When their contribution is subtracted from Dst(nT), the residue Dst* representing true ring current effect is much better correlated with B z and B z(CP), but not with V B z or V B z(CP), indicating that these are unimportant parameters and the effect of V is seen only through the solar wind ram pressure causing magnetopause currents. Maximum negative Dst (or Dst*) did not occur at the same hour as maximum FD. The time evolutions of Dst and FD were very different. The correlations were almost zero. Basically, negative Dst (or Dst*) and FDs are uncorrelated, indicating altogether different mechanism.

Rossetti D.F.,National Institute for Space Research
Earth-Science Reviews | Year: 2014

Tectonic reactivation has long been suggested to have occurred over several areas of the Amazonian lowland in the Neogene-Holocene. Numerous landscape changes documented in this region, particularly variations in fluvial dynamics and morphologies, have nevertheless been exclusively attributed to climatic fluctuations. Minimizing the effect of tectonics over the Neogene-Holocene evolution of the Amazon basin can result in a distorted interpretation of the sedimentary record and, as a consequence, equivocal paleoclimatic reconstructions. Climate has often prevailed as a hypothesis to explain changes in fluvial dynamics possibly due to the still scarce synthesizing publications focusing exclusively on the neotectonic influence over this region. The present work provides a review of existing data focusing on Quaternary tectonics over a large area of the Amazonian lowland. The existing information is complemented by original morphostructural data on Quaternary terrains from this region, which were acquired through remote sensing. The goals were to analyze the geographic extent of late Quaternary deposits, and to determine the impact of tectonics on their development and on the latest evolution of the Amazon drainage basin. The analysis shows that: 1. the Amazonian lowland experienced geographically widespread sedimentation in the Late Pleistocene-Holocene; 2. sedimentation was promoted by the creation of new depositional sites mostly likely resulting from tectonic activity; and 3. tectonic reactivation impacted the latest evolution of this entire region, with particular influence on drainage basins, as revealed by river courses with an abundance of morphostructural lineaments evidencing fault control. Hence, the NW-, NE-, nearly N-S and, to a lesser extent, W-E morphostructural trends recorded in all areas investigated here are generally associated with strike-slip deformation. In addition, they are conformable with the main orientation of tectonic structures from adjacent crystalline rocks of the Precambrian basement. They also match tectonic trends documented in Neogene and younger sedimentary deposits from this and several other areas of northeastern Brazil. Furthermore, some are detected locally in the subsurface by geophysical data. Furthermore, a profusion of morphostructural anomalies is imprinted on the surface of Neogene-Holocene deposits of the Amazonian lowland, the main ones consisting of: 1. highly asymmetric modern drainage basin still undergoing organization, with anomalous patterns (i.e., trellis, sub-dendritic, sub-parallel and rectangular) that often vary from one another, frequent river captures and rivers flowing in contrary directions along the time, and straight channels that form triangular shapes or triple junctions or with local meandering and subtle enlargements; 2. an abundance of channels, floodplains, lakes and entire valleys with straight and orthogonal margins that locally form rhombic shapes or which may be laterally displaced; 3. fluvial rias (i.e., rivers that became enlarged as their mouth were barred) bounded by sharp and orthogonal lineaments which result in rectangular shapes; 4. termination of megafans into rhombic-shaped depressions bounded by straight lineaments or their lateral displacement several kilometers apart; and 5. rivers with asymmetric terraces laterally displaced by faults. These observations together are consistent with a landscape controlled by neotectonic activity. The modern seismogenic record, which reveals even high-magnitude earthquakes, indicates active deformation over the Amazonian lowland at the Present time. The neotectonic history of the Amazonian lowland is explained within the context of an overarching mechanism most likely related to intraplate stresses. This was probably caused by reactivation of pre-existing structures since the Neogene that was most likely promoted by activity along oceanic fracture zones and transform faults of the Brazilian Equatorial margin, as well as tectonism in the Andean region. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Abdu M.A.,National Institute for Space Research
Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics | Year: 2012

Magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling is responsible for storm time disturbance electric field propagation to equatorial latitudes, by processes of direct penetration and disturbance wind dynamo. New results have been forthcoming in recent years from satellite and ground based observations and modeling studies on the important characteristics of these electric fields as well their effects on the electrodynamics of the equatorial ionosphere and thermosphere, especially, in terms of their impact on the equatorial spread F (ESF) plasma bubble irregularity development conditions that is in focus here. The disturbance zonal electric fields, when superimposed on equatorial evening pre-reversal enhancement electric field, PRE, can drastically modify the post-sunset, and night time, F layer heights, a basic control factor for the instability growth by Rayleigh-Taylor mechanism leading to plasma bubble development. Based on published results and some new data we present here a comprehensive, but brief, analysis and discussion of the processes of ESF development, suppression or disruption under different phases of a storm activity sequence. Consequences for ESF occurrence from under-shielding and over-shielding penetration electric fields as well as from the disturbance winds and wind dynamo electric field occurring in different local time sectors of the night, as also the irregularity dynamics and longitude extension, etc., are highlighted in this paper. Some outstanding problems for further research are also presented. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

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