NASA put out this video last week and we missed covering it, but this is a very interesting little video that takes you on a narrated global tour of tens of millions of fires detected from space between July 2002 and July 2011. Yes, that’s right, tens of millions of fires on Earth, and these aren’t tiny little campfires — they are big enough to be seen from space. The video was created from new satellite data visualizations, and is combined with satellite views of vegetation and snow cover to show how fires relate to seasonal changes. The research helps scientists understand how fire affects our environment on local, regional and global scales.
“What you see here is a very good representation of the satellite data scientists use to understand the global distribution of fires and to determine where and how fire distribution is responding to climate change and population growth,” said Chris Justice of the University of Maryland, College Park, a scientist who leads one of NASA’s efforts to study the world’s fires.
The observations made by the MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS, instruments onboard NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites.