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The Amazon region harbors the largest stocks of carbon and biodiversity on the planet, its importance to the global climate balance is admittedly undeniable. In a territorial extension, 60% of the Amazon forest is in Brazil, so it is imperative that we be protagonists in mitigation and conservation measures of this region.

However, deforestation has increased again since 2014 and environmental policies in Brazil go through a dubious moment, seeming to be heading towards major setbacks and worrying the global scientific community. The new government has pointed out that global warming is a secondary issue, questioned the commitments set out in the Paris Agreement, and the withdrawal of hosting the UN Climate Change Conference in 2019, the COP-25.

Despite this dubious scenario, the Brazilian government made a firm commitment to reduce the emission of the greenhouse gases by 37% up to 2025 and by 43% up to 2030, compared to the levels registered in 2005 in the Paris Agreement signed during the 21st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in December 2015. Thus, forest fires became an important issue for the Brazilian government. Recently, during the very strong El Niño event 2015-16 the number of forest fires was approximately 115,000. In this period, mainly in the dry season, the whole Metropolitan area of Manaus was covered in haze, affecting the health of the population, reducing the visibility and closure of airports, as reported by local newspapers.

Thus, the impact of forest fires in the Amazon region on air pollution has been a critical problem, particularly in the urban areas. The main purpose of this project is to investigate the impact of climate change have on the biomass burning at Amazon region and its implications to air quality of metropolitan area of Manaus. In addition, the results will be useful in alerting the Brazilian government to the effects of climate change and will serve as a basis for information that will aid public policies for air quality management aimed at preventing, combating and reducing pollutant emissions from our largest source of emissions in Brazil.

“This research will show a snapshot of the impact of the Amazon fires on the air quality of Manaus and the risks of their population if the anthropogenic fires and intense droughts events regarding to climate change keeps increasing.”

– Igor O. Ribeiro, PhD (IPCC award-winning PostDoc and Principal Investigator)

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