Tasmanian Fires Visible From Space — Again

By Tom Yulsman | March 3, 2013 2:43 am

Two bushfires burning on Hunter Island just off the northwestern tip of Tasmania (upper left) were visible to NASA’s Aqua satellite on Sunday. (Image: NASA Worldview)

Just two days after the Australian Bureau of Meteorology announced that the summer down under has been the hottest on record, a NASA satellite has spied brushfires burning on Hunter Island, just off the northwestern tip of Tasmania.

The photo above shows two plumes streaming out into the Southern Ocean. According to the Tasmanian Fire Service, the fires total about 1,700 acres. The island is home to a conservation area.

A map on the Fire Service’s web site shows that these are just two of about a half dozen brushfires burning across more than 270 square miles of Tasmania.

Here’s a closeup view of the Hunter Island fires:

In January, intense brushfires swept across large swaths of the island state. One fire destroyed 80 homes in the fishing town of Dunalley. On January 4th, temperatures soared to 107 degrees in Hobart. Three days later, the average high temperature across all of Australia was 104.6 degrees—a record, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology

The meteorology bureau’s manager of climate monitoring and prediction, David Jones, said in January that the climate system “is responding to the background warming trend,” which is making heat waves more likely.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Climate, Remote Sensing, select, Top Posts


ImaGeo is a visual blog focusing on the intersection of imagery, imagination and Earth. It focuses on spectacular visuals related to the science of our planet, with an emphasis (although not an exclusive one) on the unfolding Anthropocene Epoch.

About Tom Yulsman

Tom Yulsman is Director of the Center for Environmental Journalism and a Professor of Journalism at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He also continues to work as a science and environmental journalist with more than 30 years of experience producing content for major publications. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Audubon, Climate Central, Columbia Journalism Review, Discover, Nieman Reports, and many other publications. He has held a variety of editorial positions over the years, including a stint as editor-in-chief of Earth magazine. Yulsman has written one book: Origins: the Quest for Our Cosmic Roots, published by the Institute of Physics in 2003.


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