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Large-Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere (LBA) Experiment


Altered cycles of water, energy, carbon, and nutrients, resulting from the changes in Amazonian vegetation cover, are expected to have climatic and environmental consequences at local, regional, and global scales. The Large-Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere (LBA) experiment in Amazonia, led by Brazil, is the largest cooperative international scientific project ever to study the interaction between the Amazon forest and the regional and global atmospheres.

LBA is centered on two key questions:
1) How does Amazonia currently function as a regional entity?
2) How will changes in land use and climate affect the biological, chemical, and physical functions of Amazonia, including the sustainability of development in the region and the influence of Amazonia on global climate?

The papers that compose this Earth Interactions LBA special issue deal with both of these key questions. Several papers focus on innovative uses of satellite remote sensing to monitor and predict major vegetation cover changes, such as deforestation, logging, and vegetation structure. Another set of papers looks at changes in plant and soil nutrients at different locations in the Amazon. Yet another group examines the impacts of climate events such as El Niño on the carbon cycle of the region. Articles that analyze results from airborne missions and numerical experiments conclude this special issue. Together, the papers in this LBA special issue provide new scientific insights into the functions and changes of Amazonia, delivered in a rapid and effective manner to policy makers and stakeholders of the region.

Jon Foley

Collection organizers:
Dr. Marcos Heil Costa, Federal University of Vicosa
Dr. Christopher S. Potter, NASA Ames

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