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Observation Tower to Rise Taller Than NYC's Chrysler Building in the Middle of the Amazon

Once completed, a new observation site overlooking the Amazon rain forest in Brazil will provide researchers with data on greenhouse gases and how the rain forest affects the climate.

The Amazonian Tall Tower Observatory will be 325 meters (1,066 feet) above the rain forest. In comparison, New York City's Chrysler Building is 319 meters (1,046 feet).

It will not only measure greenhouse gases, but it will also help research better understand cloud formation and air masses, according to the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany.

Tropical rain forests help regulate local and global weather through their absorption and creation of rainfall and their exchange of atmospheric gases, Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls said.

The Amazon alone generates 50 to 80 percent of its own rainfall through evaporation, Nicholls said.

"Deforestation by cutting or the dying of plants due to the ongoing drought changes the reflectivity of the Earth's surface," he said. "This, in turn, alters wind and ocean current patterns and changes rainfall distribution. If the forests continue to be destroyed, global weather patterns may become more unstable and extreme."

The tower could be helpful in gathering real-time carbon dioxide and weather data to feed into the climate models to possibly improve their accuracy, Nicholls said.

"There are not many observation points in the Amazon so this data could prove very useful," he said.

Working with the Max Planck Institute on the project are the University of the State of Amazonas and the National Institute for Amazon Research, both of Manaus, Brazil.

The observatory will be located 150 km (93 miles) northeast of Manaus. It will be near a lower-elevation observation point that has been measuring weather and ozone and carbon dioxide levels since 2011.