Ocean Temperatures Can Predict Amazon Fire Season Severity
By analyzing nearly a decade of satellite data, a team of scientists led by researchers from the University of California, Irvine and funded by NASA has created a model that can successfully predict the severity and geographic distribution of fires in the Amazon rain forest and the rest of South America months in advance. Though previous research has shown that human settlement patterns are the primary factor that drives the distribution of fires in the Amazon, the new research demonstrates that environmental factors—specifically small variations in ocean temperatures—amplify human impacts and underpin much of the variability in the number of fires the region experiences from one year to the next.
UC Irvine scientist Jim Randerson describes the mechanism that links sea surface temperature to fire season severity in South America.
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NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
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Jim Randerson Science Article_Fires
Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 4:00AM