Many fires over Southeast Asia for agriculture

March 10, 2019 0 Comments

As a kid I remember a few neighbors setting the ditches on fire in the spring to eradicate dried up grass, shrubs, or weeds before the growing season would kick in.  However the number of prescribed burns in Southeast Asia in the early spring is really crazy!  The NASA / NOAA image below shows them quite clearly.  Please read the article below from NASA which describes the practice more and explains what instruments they used to see such things.  I must say, what our technology can do nowadays is remarkable.

The monsoon season dominates the climate of Southeast Asia from mid-April to September.  During this time, the climate is rainy and hot. From November to mid-March, it becomes much cooler and dry. Across Southeast Asia, NASA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured this image of hundreds of fires dotting the landscape. These fires are for the most part intentionally set for agricultural purposes for the coming growing season. Fires become widespread throughout the Indochina peninsula as people use burning to clear and maintain agricultural and residential landscapes. The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) sensor on NASA/NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured this natural-color image showing large numbers of small fires burning throughout the Indochina peninsula on March 06, 2019. 

NASA’s Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) Worldview application provides the capability to interactively browse over 700 global, full-resolution satellite imagery layers and then download the underlying data. Many of the available imagery layers are updated within three hours of observation, essentially showing the entire Earth as it looks “right now.” Actively burning fires, detected by thermal bands, are shown as red points. Image Courtesy: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS).  Caption: Lynn Jenner with information from the Earth Observatory.

Last Updated: March 6, 2019
Editor: Lynn Jenner

About the Author:

StormTrak9 Meteorologist with WAOW-TV in Wausau, WI. Also the owner of Great Lakes Weather Service, LLC.

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