In mid-January 2016, satellites detected fire activity in northwestern Tasmania that gave rise to copious smoke and charred vegetation. By mid-February, fires were still burning in the area.
On February 12, 2016, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this image of fire and smoke in northwestern Tasmania. Red outlines indicate hot spots where MODIS detected the unusually warm surface temperatures associated with the fires.
According to new research, the weekly frequency of bushfires in Australia (including the state of Tasmania) have increased by 40 percent over the past five years, most notably during the Southern Hemisphere’s summer months.
- Dutta, R. et al. (2016, February 10) Big data integration shows Australian bush-fire frequency is increasing significantly. Royal Society Open Science, 2016.
NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response. Caption by Kathryn Hansen.
- Aqua - MODIS