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.
Colorado’s Waldo Canyon forest fire spread over almost 30 square miles, forced the evacuation of more than 30,000 residents, and destroyed 346 homes, more than any other fire in the state’s history. NASA’s Terra satellite snapped this visible and infrared image of the devastation while the fire was still burning but had been mostly contained. In the photograph, vegetation shows up as red, partially burned areas look light brown, and severely burned ones are dark brown.
The image shows the extent of the fire’s reach, the damage it inflicted on the Mountain Shadows neighborhood, and just how close it was to the Air Force Academy and Colorado Springs.
Image courtesy of NASA Goddard Photo and Video / flickr
“The average American baby is born with 10 fingers, 10 toes and the highest recorded levels of flame retardants among infants in the world.” So begins the Chicago Tribune’s damning four-part series about spin and science, or lack thereof, in the flame retardants industry. Flame retardant chemicals have become so ubiquitous–there’s two pounds of the stuff in just the cushions of a large couch—because we’ve accepted the health dangers are worth the protection they provide against fire. Except, there is no scientific basis for the claim that flame retardants save lives.
Part three in the series, published today, is a systematic debunking of the few studies the industry has continuously cited as evidence for the efficacy of flame retardants. One obscure Swedish study, available only in Swedish, relied on flimsy evidence from just eight electrical fires caused by TVs. The peer-reviewed paper also lists a PR specialist among its authors. The lead scientist of another study has disavowed what he calls the industry’s “grossly distorted” flogging of his work, which looked at levels of flame retardants far above industry standard in household furniture. These examples and many more show how scientific authority has been manipulated for profit: Read More
Some men just want to watch the world burn. Count me as one of them, at least when it comes to this video from NASA showing fires taking place the world over. Seventy percent of the world’s blazes take place in Africa—apparently making it the “fire continent,” according to the narrator. Perhaps surprisingly, especially given recent wildfires in the American West and Southwest, only 2 percent of the globes conflagrations take place in North America. NASA used two satellites, Terra and Aqua, to visualize patterns of vegetation, snow/ice cover, and fires worldwide from July 2002 to July 2011.