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save the rainforest

Observation tower in the Amazon rainforest will monitor climate change

A 325-meter-high (1,066 feet) steel observation tower will soon rise in the middle of the Amazon rainforest, ready to monitor climate change.

The tower will stand 100 miles outside of Manaus, and will collect data related to weather, carbon gas, winds, cloud formation, and more, Vice reports. The project, which is headed by Brazil's National Institute of Amazonian Research and Germany's Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, has been under development for seven years. "The tower will help us answer innumerable questions related to global climate change," Paulo Artaxo, a project coordinator for the tower, told the BBC.

Once the tower is up and running, researchers will likely focus on the disappearing "flying rivers" of the Amazon. Flying rivers develop when moisture is released from trees and swiftly moved by clouds of vapor out of the rainforest; this is how much of central and south Brazil gets rain. Right now, San Paolo is undergoing one of its worst droughts in recent decades, a likely result of the vanishing flying rivers, which in turn could be the result of an increase in deforestation. Amazon deforestation increased 10 percent between July 2013 and August 2014.