31 March 2007, marked opening ceremonies for the first GreenChina Day, established to increase awareness of the need for environmentalprotection. As reported by ShanghaiDaily.com, however, the ceremony in Beijingsaw an unwelcome guest: Gobi Desert dust. Roughly 2,000 kilometers south of the capital city, air quality also suffered,in this case from fires in Southeast Asia.
The Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) flying onboard the Aura satellite measures the thickness of light-absorbing aerosolstinysolid or liquid particles suspended in the atmosphere. OMI captured these imageson March 30 (top) and March 31 (bottom). The images superimpose a color-codedscale of aerosol thickness onto a natural-color image of eastern Asia, the Seaof Japan, and the western Pacific Ocean. These images track the eastwardmovement of aerosols into the Beijing region, and show aerosols blowing eastwardout of Southeast Asia, dissipating as they travel. Red areas indicate whereaerosols are thickest or where aerosols float over reflective clouds, which tendto make the aerosol concentration appear more intense than it actually is.
Aerosols south of 30 degrees latitude likely result from smoke from biomassburning. To the north, aerosols probably result from dust. In both cases, thetime of year plays a role. Southeast Asian farmers often prepare for the growingseason by setting agricultural fires each spring. Accidental fires also springup readily at this time of year. Meanwhile, Gobi Desert dust storms generallypeak in the spring then gradually decline throughout the summer. The March 31dust storm that blanketed Beijing marked the first such storm of 2007.
I. Monitoring of Smoke-Haze and Active Fires (land-use fires and wildfires)
Regional Smoke-Haze Monitoring
The Meteorological Division of the Singapore National Environment Agency provides a daily updated map showing active fires (land-use fires, wildfires), smoke haze and surface wind directions within the South East Asian region.
Latest map of surface winds and smoke haze/hot spots observed over cloud-free areas.
Latest regional active fire (hotspot) maps:
Forecast of winds and surface pressure for the South East Asian Region :
Other Regional NOAA and GOES Satellite Images:
Update (current) and last month Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) in Singapore:
Fire Activity Monitoring in Borneo (Kalimantan, Sabah, Sarawak)
The East Kalimantan Fire Management Agency (predecessor arrangement: Indonesian-German Integrated Forest Fire Management Project – IFFM) in Samarinda provides regulary updated maps generated by NOAA-AVHRR showing active land-use fires and wildfires in Brunei and the Indonesian and Malaysian provinces on Borneo Island:
Latest fire overview map for Borneo: 14 October 2006
(Source: PKHL Fire Maps)
Fire Activity Monitoring in South Sumatra
The South Sumatra Forest Fire Management Project (SSFFMP) provides regular fire activity maps based on the products of the MODIS Rapid Response System.
Archive with Satellite-derived Fire Activity Maps of Indonesia
The JICA-supported Forest Fire Prevention Management Project 2 (FFPMP2) provides an archive of fire activity maps based on NOAA AVHRR data (July 1997-September 2006)
II. Fire Weather and Fire Danger Monitoring and Early Warning
Regional Fire Weather
The Regional South East Asia Fire Danger Rating System (SEA FDRS) is a joint effort between the Canadian Forest Service (CFS) and the Malaysian Meteorological Service (MMS), supported by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Daily updated SEA Fire Danger Rating can be downloaded on the following website of MMS, and background information on the project can be found at the SEA FDRS Project website.
Latest example of a SEA FDRS product:
The Fire Weather Index (FWI) values shown on the map are numerical ratings of fire intensity.
Information from the Initial Spread Index (ISI) and Build Up Index (BUI) is combined to provide a numerical rating of fire intensity.
This index is used to indicate the difficulty of fire control based on the head fire intensity and fire fighting capability.
Information on the Indonesian Fire Danger Rating System (Indonesian FDRS) is provided by the Indonesian Bureau of Meteorology and Geophysics (BMG) in Jakarta. The site provides information for fire managers working to prevent and control vegetation fires and smoke in Indonesia. This link points to the English version; a Bahasa Indonesian version can be found there as well: http://www.bmg.go.id:8080/fdrs/index_e.html.
The GFMC displays selected and daily updated global and Asia-Pacific Experimental Climate Prediction Center (ECPC) Fire Weather Forecasts. These examples allow a quicklook and provide daily and weekly total forecasts and forecasted monthly totals. For background information refer to the ECPC products description page.
tomorrow week monthly
Fire Weather Index (FWI) forecast for this week (left) and the predicted FWI total for next month (right)
for the Western Pacific (1-3) and the Pacific Ocean (4-6) regions.
The weekly total forecast and the monthly forecasted total refer to 00:00 hrs UTC, which is local noon at dateline (180° longitude).
Forecast time is 12:00 hrs noon UTC (Greenwich) corresponding to local evening time in mainland and insular SE Asia.
(Source: ECPC Fire Weather Index Forecast)
WWF Fire Bulletin for South East Asia
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has resumed the periodic publication of the Fire Bulleting a weekly information on fire, haze, and related issues in Indonesia.
End of Year Edition: The current edition provides you with the reflection of forest and land fires took place in 2006, fire prediction in 2007, and WWF-Indonesias activities in forest fire program.