Earth  ID: 3868

Global Fire Observations and MODIS NDVI

This visualization leads viewers on a narrated global tour of fire detections beginning in July 2002 and ending July 2011. The visualization also includes vegetation and snow cover data to show how fires respond to seasonal changes. The tour begins in Australia in 2002 by showing a network of massive grassland fires spreading across interior Australia as well as the greener Eucalyptus forests in the northern and eastern part of the continent. The tour then shifts to Asia where large numbers of agricultural fires are visible first in China in June 2004, then across a huge swath of Europe and western Russia in August, and then across India and Southeast Asia through the early part of 2005. It moves next to Africa, the continent that has more abundant burning than any other. MODIS observations have shown that some 70 percent of the world's fires occur in Africa alone. In what's a fairly average burning season, the visualization shows a huge outbreak of savanna fires during the dry season in Central Africa in July, August, and September of 2006, driven mainly by agricultural activities but also by the fact that the region experiences more lightning than anywhere else in the world. The tour shifts next to South America where a steady flickering of fire is visible across much of the Amazon rainforest with peaks of activity in September and November of 2009. Almost all of the fires in the Amazon are the direct result of human activity, including slash-and-burn agriculture, because the high moisture levels in the region prevent inhibit natural fires from occurring. It concludes in North America, a region where fires are comparatively rare. North American fires make up just 2 percent of the world's burned area each year. The fires that receive the most attention in the United States, the uncontrolled forest fires in the West, are less visible than the wave of agricultural fires prominent in the Southeast and along the Mississippi River Valley, but some of the large wildfires that struck Texas earlier this spring are visible.

More information on the Fire Information for Resource Management (FIRMS) is available at http://maps.geog.umd.edu/firms/.

 

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Visualization Credits

Lori Perkins (NASA/GSFC): Lead Animator
Greg Shirah (NASA/GSFC): Animator
Jefferson Beck (USRA): Producer
Chris Justice (University of Maryland): Scientist
Louis Giglio (SSAI): Scientist
Luigi Boschetti Ph.D. (University Of Maryland College Park): Scientist
Adam P Voiland (Wyle Information Systems): Writer
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

Fire location data courtesy of MODIS Rapid Response Project (NASA/GSFC and University of Maryland - http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov)

Short URL to share this page:
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/3868

Mission:
Terra

Data Used:
Terra and Aqua/MODIS/Fire Location June 2002 through July 2011
Terra and Aqua/MODIS/Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) June 2002 through July 2011
Terra and Aqua/MODIS/Pixel Reliability (value=2)

Dates of Data Used:
2002/07/01 - 2011/07/30

This item is part of this series:
Narrated Movies

Keywords:
DLESE >> Atmospheric science
DLESE >> Forestry
SVS >> HDTV
DLESE >> Natural hazards
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Biosphere >> Ecological Dynamics >> Fire Occurrence
SVS >> Hyperwall
SVS >> For Educators
SVS >> Fire
SVS >> Ecosystems
SVS >> Natural Disaster
SVS >> Natural Disaster >> Fire
NASA Science >> Earth
SVS >> Presentation

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 8.0.0.0.0