This animation shows global fires in 2007 and then zooms to the Northern Territory of Australia and shows fires in 2008. The Northern Territory has one of the highest frequencies of early season fires in Australia because land managers there conduct numerous prescribed fires to reduce grass that could act as fuel for more severe wildfires later in the dry season(May until October).
The data used to generate this animation were collected by the NASA MODIS intrument. Data are collected four times per day using two satellite platforms. The instrument design included the capability to identify active fires sensing in the middle infrared part of the spectrum. The fire data used in the animation were generated by the MODIS advanced processing system at NASA. The MODIS Global Fire data are available free of charge and within a few hours of satellite acquisition. The fire data are used by scientists and fire managers around the world.
The fires that these data show include - savanna fires, wildfires, managed fires, agricultural fires, and thermal anomalies associated with power plants or gas flares. Fires occur around the world at different times of the year.
MODIS is entering its 10th year of data collection and we are using the data to study the global distribution of fires and document changed in fire regimes due to climate or land use change.
These fire data are used by Australian fire managers and scientists. Dr Chris Justice and the MODIS team participated in the NAILSMA experiment. NAILSMA was commissioned by the Northern Australia Land and Water Taskforce to convene a forum to bring together key Indigenous water experts from across the north of Australia to discuss their water interests and issues. This part of Northern Australia is an important area in terms of biodiversity and fire is an integral ecosystem process. We are interested in applying these data and other data from the MODIS instrument to better understand the occurence of fire and its characteristics in the Northern Territories with respect to emissions of trace gases into the atmosphere an the imacts of fire on the ecosystem.
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 188.8.131.52.0