Fires in Central Africa

  Fires in Central Africa

2 December 2008

Late in the calendar year, widespread agricultural fires spring up across Africa in the semi-arid grasslands known as the Sahel and in the tropical savannas to the south. This natural-color image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite on 27 November 2008, shows fires (marked in red dots) across central Africa. The top edge of the image traces the northern edge of the Sahel, where it meets the Sahara Desert. The vegetation becomes lusher to the south, where rainfall is more abundant. In southern Cameroon and the Central Africa Republic, the savannas transition to woodlands and forest.

For hundreds, possibly thousands of years, people in these landscapes have used fire to drive game for hunting, to clear and renew pasture for cattle, and to prepare ground for crops. Although these agricultural fires are not necessarily immediately hazardous, they can have a large impact on air quality and human health, climate, and natural resources.

27 November 2008

(source: earth observatory)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien