Skyscraper Rising in Middle of the Amazon
Observatory is far from human settlement
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 15, 2014 5:45 AM CDT
A road crosses the dense Amazon rain forest near the northern city of Manaus, Brazil.   (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

(Newser) – At 1,066 feet, a tower rising in Brazil will be taller than New York City's Chrysler Building—or any skyscraper in South America—but it won't have any neighbors in sight. The Amazon Tall Tower Observatory, around 100 miles from the city of Manuas, is designed to gather information on things like cloud formation and greenhouse gases from a rainforest site far from human habitation, reports the BBC. The steel being used to build the huge tower has been brought thousands of miles from southern Brazil by truck and by raft, AFP reports.

The tower—which will join a network of smaller observatory towers in the region—is expected to deliver vital information on how climate change is affecting the sensitive Amazon ecosystem, which in turn affects the release of carbon. "The tower will help us answer innumerable questions related to global climate change," explains a project director from the University of Sao Paulo. "We will gain a better understanding of the role of the Amazon and other humid tropical areas in climate models." (In another major Amazon project, Brazil is taking a census of the rainforest's trillions of trees.)