On the calendar, Scandinavian summer starts on June 21 in 2008, but summer temperatures had already settled over much of northern Europe by early June. This image shows land surface temperatures—how hot the ground is to the touch, a measure that is different than the air temperatures reported in the news—as observed by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite between June 2 and June 8, 2008.
The image compares the average temperature between June 2 and June 8, 2008, to average temperatures recorded during the same period in June 2000 through 2007. Areas that were warmer than average are red, while cooler than average conditions are represented in blue.The heat that dominated the weather in northern Europe in early June is evident in the dark red that covers Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and parts of Germany and Poland. Southern Europe experienced cooler than average temperatures during the period.
The intense heat and dry weather led to dangerous fire conditions in Scandinavia. Both Norway and Sweden were plagued with several forest fires in early June. A fire that burned for several days in southern Norway was the largest in the country’s history, causing an estimated ten million dollars worth of damage, reported The Norway Post on June 17, 2008.
You can download a 9-kilometer-resolution KMZ file of global land surface temperature anomaly suitable for use with Google Earth.
- Deutsche Presse-Agentur. (2008, June 13). Norway asks for help to tackle large forest blaze. Monsters and Critics. Accessed June 20, 2008.
- Solholm, R. (2008, June 17). State pays part of cost of forest fire. The Norway Post. Accessed June 20, 2008.
NASA image created by Jesse Allen, using data obtained from the Goddard Land Processes data archives. Caption by Holli Riebeek.
- Terra - MODIS