GFMC: Bush and Forest Fires in Australia

Fires in Central South America 

11  March  2003 

Latest Satellite Image  from Central America :

Fires in Mexico and Central America
Fires (red dots) continue to burn across southern Mexico, the YucatanPeninsula, and Central America. Countries shown are (from bottom right)Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Belize (to the northeast), andMexico. At bottom left, sun glints off the Pacific Ocean. At top and right arethe Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. The high-resolution image providedabove is 500 meters per pixel. The MODIS Rapid Response System provides thisimage at MODIS’ maximum spatial resolution of 250meters.

Source: NASA/ EO



Fires Across the Llanos
The fires currently burning across northern South America are producing asignificant amount of pollution, as indicated by enhanced levels of carbonmonoxide in the region. This false-color image shows the concentrations ofcarbon monoxide (CO) at an altitude of roughly 3 km (700 millibars) in theatmosphere. The data were taken by the Measurements Of Pollution In TheTroposphere (MOPITT) instrument aboard NASA’s Terra satellite for the periodFebruary 24-March 4, 2003. The colors represent the mixing ratios of carbonmonoxide in the air, given in parts per billion by volume. The large grey areasin the center of the image show where no data were collected, either due topersistent cloud cover or gaps between satellite viewing swaths. The regions ofhigh carbon monoxide correlate well with observations of the sourcefires by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). Carbonmonoxide is produced as a result of incomplete combustion during burningprocesses, and is important due to its impact on chemistry in the loweratmosphere. It is a good indicator of atmospheric pollution, and its presenceadversely affects the atmosphere’s ability to cleanse itself. Because carbonmonoxide is persistent for several weeks, it clearly shows the propagation ofpollution plumes from the region of the fires over Columbia and Venezuelawestward out into the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean. The high levels ofcarbon monoxide in the right of the image over the Atlantic Ocean result frompollution plumes that have traversed the Atlantic from the fires that arecurrently burningin western Africa.


Source: NASA/ EO

For background Information see also: Recent Media Highlights on Fire, Policies, and Politics


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