'Archeologists of the Air' Isolate Pristine Aerosol Particles in the Amazon

Findings could determine how changes in the Amazon might affect the regional and global atmosphere.

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As the Amazon Basin is going through a period of development, Brazilian co-author Paulo Artaxo says that scientists will now have an opportunity to watch the influence of human activity on the atmosphere in real time.

"In Brazil, we now have even more solid science to support sustainable development in the Amazonian region," says Artaxo, a professor of physics at the University of São Paulo (Brazil). "Looking ahead, we hope to clarify the mechanisms of how vegetation interacts with the atmosphere and elucidate the main natural feedbacks. Doing so will give us a way to monitor atmospheric change accurately in light of ongoing deforestation."

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