NASA Visualizes Millions of Earth's Fires
NASA has released several videos that provide insight into the locations of fires taking place around the globe.
According to NASA, tens of millions of fires have been recorded between July 2002 and July 2011 and the new visualization reveals how fires relate to seasonal changes.
"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 NASA's effort to use MODIS data to study the world's fires.
The data suggests that only 2 percent of the world's area is burned in North America every year. For example, the released animation shows the forest fires in the West, agricultural fires in the Southeast and the recent wildfires in Texas. NASA found that 70 percent of the fires in the world take place in Africa. A substantial number of fires in Africa are savanna fires in Central Africa that are caused by agricultural activity as well as lightning strikes.
The videos of the world's fires can be seen on NASA's website.