Factsheet ATTO

ATTO - Amazonian Tall Tower Observatory

325 meters high measuring tower in the Amazon rain forest;
equipped with instruments for measuring various greenhouse gases, aerosols, weather data

150 km northeast of Manaus, Brazil


  • Laying of the foundation stone on 8/15/2014
  • Inaugurated on 8/22/2015
  • Start of the project in 2009



  • Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena
  • Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz
  • Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazonia (Nationale Institute for Amanzon Research) INPA; Manaus, Brasilien
  • Universidade do Estado do Amazonas (Universität des Staates Amazonas) UEA; Manaus, Brasilien

Research objective

  • Collect data on the influence of the vast, largely untouched rainforest on the climate
  • Understand sources and sinks of greenhouse gases such as CO2, methane and N2O
  • Investigate the formation of aerosols which is important for cloud formation
  • Investigate the transport processes of air masses that take place over several hundred kilometers

All information will lead to models to make better statements about the atmosphere and our climate, especially with the point of view of "Global Climate Change". At the same time ATTO data can also be used as a basis for environmental regulations for sustainable development of the Amazon region.


Enough distance from the metropolis of Manaus in largely untouched woodland. In close vicinity of an approximate 80 meters high measuring tower, where already regular preliminary surveys referring weather conditions, ozone and CO2 volatile organic compounds and nitrogenous trace gases as well as aerosols have taken place since 2011.


The costs (about 8.4 million euros) are divided by Germany and Brazil in comparable parts.

Funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) in the period from 2010 to 2015 with 4.5 million euros.

Statement Prof. Dr. Jürgen Kesselmeier, former ATTO-Projectcoordinator (German Side):
The Amazonian Tall Tower Observatory will be a unique facility in South America. The location in the Brazilian Amazon is of highest scientific interest because the Amazon rain forest is still the largest contiguous rain forest on earth. Thus, the measurement point provides outstanding properties to investigate such a wooded area on the chemistry and physics of our atmosphere, largely to the exclusion of direct anthropogenic impacts. The height of the measuring tower will allow us to investigate the transport of air masses and their alteration through the forest over a distance of several hundred kilometers."