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Watch This: 12 Years of Fires Burn Across the Globe

80beatsBy Sophie BushwickAugust 31, 2012 12:48 AM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news 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. The colors in this video, from NASA Earth Observations, indicate not intensity, but quantity: they represent the number of fires burning in a given area during a single day. White indicates that 100 fires ignited on a single 1,000-square-kilometer patch of ground, while red shows an area with one fire per day. Watch the flames over time and you'll see the paths that fires take again and again, such as the regular-as-clockwork north-to-south journey of agricultural fires in Africa, which follow the dry season as it passes down the length of the continent. [via Dot Earth]

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