Inaugural Charles Bullard Lectures: What Is the Future of the Amazon Forests?

  • Date: Mar 30, 2023
  • Time: 05:00 PM - 06:00 PM (Eastern Time (US & Canada) UTC-4:00)
  • Speaker: Susan Trumbore
  • Location: Harvard University, Cambridge, USA
  • Room: BioLabs 1080
  • Host: Harvard Forest and the Harvard University Center for the Environment
  • Contact:
The Harvard Forest and the Harvard University Center for the Environment present the first of two Inaugural Charles Bullard Lectures featuring Susan Trumbore, Director and Scientific Member at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry & Professor of Earth System Science at the University of California, Irvine. The event takes place in-person only.

Tropical forests process more carbon, water, and energy, and are more diverse than any other land ecosystem. The Amazon Basin contains the largest continuous tropical forest in the world and plays a key role in global climate and atmospheric composition. Amazon forests and soils contain large stores of carbon that are potentially vulnerable to climate change and deforestation and are globally important sources and sinks of carbon. How these systems will respond to climate change and their overall resilience to deforestation are major uncertainties of global importance. This talk will report on how two major collaborative projects in the Brazilian Amazon are filling gaps in our understanding of this key ecosystem and helping to predict the future of Amazon forests. The Amazon Tall Tower Observatory in the central Amazon, brings together more than 200 researchers who study the complex interactions between tropical forests, atmosphere and climate. To the southeast is the drier Amazon ‘arc of deforestation’, where we explore the resilience of forests to human disturbances and climate change. This region has been proposed as one where forests are poised to cross a ‘tipping point’ with the potential to dramatically affect forests and their inhabitants.

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