HYBAM is the only existing system specialized in monitoring Amazonian rivers and water resources operating on the scale of the largest river basin in the world. The measurement network is based on the regular collection of samples in the different countries according to homogeneous protocols and recognized international scientific protocols. The measurements and analysis of the results are carried out jointly by the network partners, thus promoting regional and North-South exchanges.
These actions complement the environmental monitoring carried out in countries by national authorities. The observatory’s activities include the training of national technical and scientific institutions and technology transfer in the field of water resources. Participants in the observatory are involved in academic training by giving courses in doctoral schools, supervising students and supporting research programmes.
A natural giant, six times larger than the world’s second largest river, the Amazon basin is a sentinel of the impact of climate change on the planet. Located between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, two of the main regulators of global climate, the Amazon basin is directly affected by El Niño/La Niña phenomena and changes in the temperature of the tropical Atlantic. In return, the basin has an impact on the biosphere through the immense flows exiting at the outlet (water and sediment flows) but also towards the atmosphere (moisture flows, greenhouse gases).
HYBAM is studying changes in the water cycle in the Amazon, which is already showing significant changes in its functioning with the acceleration of the frequency of extreme floods and low water levels.
HYBAM studies the impact of climate change, and identifies the causes of these changes, seeking to determine the share of regional changes (massive land use changes, deforestation, dam construction, hydrocarbon exploitation, etc.) and global changes (global warming).
HYBAM is a provider of data on the water cycle in the Amazon through an online database and a regularly updated documentary database that make available all the content that the observatory has produced since its creation. It is a free service, in four languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese and French, for any person/institution interested in water and climate change issues, including the scientific community in the Amazon basin and beyond. The value of the results obtained by HYBAM continues to grow with the continuous increase in the number of observation series put online.