In Italy and neighboring southern European countries, extreme heat exacerbated dozens of forest fires burning across the country. According to news reports, many of the fires were started by people hoping to lay claim to the degraded land for new construction. This image of Italy was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite on July 24, 2007, and places where the sensor detected actively burning fires are marked in red. Several fires are large enough to spread smoke over the Adriatic Sea.
The extreme heat in southern Europe and the devastating flooding in the United Kingdom are linked to an unusually southern position of the jet stream, which is bringing hot air from Africa to southern Europe and causing storms to track across the United Kingdom. Fires are also burning across the Balkans.
The high-resolution image provided above has a spatial resolution of 250 meters per pixel. The MODIS Rapid Response Team provides this image in a variety of resolutions.
- BBC. (2007, July 26). More die as Europe heatwave bites.BBC.com. Accessed July 26, 2007.
- Barber, T. (2007, July 25). Arson blamed for Italian forest fires. msnbc.com. Accessed July 26, 2007.
NASA image courtesy the MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center
- Aqua - MODIS