2001 Annual Science Report

NASA Ames Research Center Reporting  |  JUL 2000 – JUN 2001

The Future of Life: Rapid Rates of Change

Project Summary
4 Institutions
3 Teams
0 Publications
0 Field Sites
Field Sites

Project Progress

The Future of Life: Rapid Rates of Change (dm)

We have identified areas in Patagonia for research on environmental events introducing rapid changes; a larger proposal is in progress. A paper is being prepared on modern pollen dispersal as an ecological indicator of retrogressive biogeochemical cycles. Another paper is in proigress on global forcing factors on South American ecosystems. A digital movieis being prepared to show environmental change in South America at monthly scales. We continue to work on data mining and analysis for ecological applications . A dissertaion ison progress on fine-scale ecological research in Patagonia. One of our team also has a book in press on the climates of Amazonia.

This year has been crucial in identification of cause-effect relations of the South American Biota and the forcing factors of the environment. Predictability of the forcing factors and the vegetation responses were demonstrated. Work is in progress on the multivariate analysis of results.

The large international team continues to produce valuable results. The INIDEP team created an aggressive program to collect ecosystem signals throughout the Rio de la Plata watershed and formed a large team of collaborators from national and provincial agencies. The Ecuadorian team is tracing the history of run-off water for human survival in a research project that overlaps with our astrobiology interests in this area. We are radiocarbon dating the archeological evidence (26 samples submitted to the Geochronology Lab of University of Arizona) and cooperating with our Ecuadorian colleagues in areas of common interest, such as identifying sites of massive forest extinction in Patagonia and dating evidence using the potasium-argon technique.