Fires in Northwest India

Firesin India

20 October 2005

In northwestern India on 19 October  2005, smoke from scores of agricultural fires created a thick haze across the plains at the base of the Himalaya Mountains (upper right). This image of the region was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite.

19 October 2005
15:35 hrs UTC
(Image courtesy MODIS)

The state of Punjab (closest to Pakistan)  occupies less than 2 percent of the area of the country, and yet it produces about two-thirds of the food grains in India. Wheat and rice are the two most commonly grown food crops. Farmers use fire to clear fields and get them ready for new plantings. The air quality in the region is often influenced by fires, dust storms, and urban pollution. The high-resolution image provided above has a spatial resolution of 250 meters per pixel.

(Source: Earth Observatory)

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