Biomass burning in Southeast Asia is used for land clearing (deforestation) and to prepare land for agricultural purposes like grazing and farming. Each year in the late winter and early spring, the burning season reaches its peak, with hundreds of fires scattered across Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, and surrounding countries. This image of the region shows scores of fires (red dots) detected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite on March 2, 2003. The burning significantly influences air quality, sometimes thousands of kilometers away. Carbon monoxide measurements from the region show good correlation with observed fire locations.
The high-resolution image provided here is 500 meters per pixel. The MODIS Rapid Response System provides this image at the sensor’s maximum resolution of 250 meters.
The intense biomass burning in Southeast Asia, ongoing for the last several months, has released high levels of carbon monoxide into the atmosphere over the region, as measured by the Terra MOPITT sensor from April 3-13, 2003.