Amazon fires in Brazil can be seen from space

August 21, 2019  - By
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Wildfires in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil have hit record numbers, and satellites have been able to capture imagery of them.

According to NASA, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on its Aqua satellite captured images of several fires burning in the states of Rondônia, Amazonas, Pará and Mato Grosso on Aug. 11 and Aug. 13.

A satellite view of the Amazon wildfire on Aug. 13. (NASA Earth Observatory images by Lauren Dauphin, using MODIS data from NASA EOSDIS/LANCE and GIBS/Worldview and VIIRS data from NASA EOSDIS/LANCE and GIBS/Worldview, and the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership.)

A satellite view of the Amazon wildfire on Aug. 13. (NASA Earth Observatory images by Lauren Dauphin, using MODIS data from NASA EOSDIS/LANCE and GIBS/Worldview and VIIRS data from NASA EOSDIS/LANCE and GIBS/Worldview, and the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership.)

There have been 72,843 fires in Brazil this year, with more than half in the Amazon region, Brazil’s space research center, the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), said. This marks an 84% increase over the same period of 2018 and is the highest since records began in 2013, INPE added.

Amazonas, the largest state in Brazil, recently declared a state of emergency over the forest fires, said Euro News.

This map shows the "Biomass burning aerosol optical depth." (Image: Copernicus' Atmosphere Monitoring Service)

This map shows the “Biomass burning aerosol optical depth.” (Image: Copernicus’ Atmosphere Monitoring Service)

In the Amazon region, fires are rare for much of the year because wet weather prevents them from starting and spreading. However, in July and August, activity typically increases due to the arrival of the dry season, NASA said.

About the Author:


Allison Barwacz is the digital media manager for North Coast Media (NCM). She completed her undergraduate degree at Ohio University where she received a Bachelor of Science in magazine journalism from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She works across a number of digital platforms, which include creating e-newsletters, writing articles and posting across social media sites. She also creates content for NCM's Pit & Quarry magazine, Portable Plants magazine and Geospatial Solutions. Her understanding of the ever-changing digital media world allows her to quickly grasp what a target audience desires and create content that is appealing and relevant for any client across any platform.

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