Watch This: 12 Years of Fires Burn Across the Globe

By Sophie Bushwick | August 30, 2012 3:48 pm

Fire maps show the locations all over the world where wild and man-made fires are going on, based on data from NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer. And when you combine fire maps from the past 12 years, you get a video where flames trace recurring patterns across the globe, from summer wildfires in Canada to agricultural burning in Africa and Southeast Asia.

The colors in this video, from NASA Earth Observations, indicate not intensity, but quantity: they represent the number of fires burning in a given area during a single day. White indicates that 100 fires ignited on a single 1,000-square-kilometer patch of ground, while red shows an area with one fire per day.

Watch the flames over time and you’ll see the paths that fires take again and again, such as the regular-as-clockwork north-to-south journey of agricultural fires in Africa, which follow the dry season as it passes down the length of the continent.

[via Dot Earth]

MORE ABOUT: fire, NASA, watch this, wildfire
  • Jon Claerbout

    I remember all of Alaska on fire the summer of 2004 but it doesn’t show up. Wonder why?

  • Daniel J. Andrews

    Yukon also had some good fires in 2004 and ontario had some serious ones 2003, and a number of years since then. They all do show up but compared to fires in tropical zones like Africa it seems our fires are rather small by comparison. Considering how the sun was blocked out by smoke by days at a time even though we were hundreds of km away from the big fires, it is scary to contemplate just how big those tropical fires must have been I order to make our fires look like brief sparks in the darkness.


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