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Fires in Southeast Asia

Fires in Southeast Asia

The widespread and intense biomass burning ocurring throughout southeast Asia is producing high concentrations of carbon monoxide (CO), as shown in this image of observations by the Measurements of Pollution in The Troposphere (MOPITT) instrument on NASA’s Terra satellite. This false-color image shows the mixing ratios of CO at an altitude of about 3 km (700 hPa) averaged from April 3-13, 2003. Gray areas indicate where no data are available, either due to cloud cover or the surface elevation being higher than 3 km (such as over the Himalayas).

The highest mixing ratios are seen over Myanmar, southern China, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. Carbon monoxide levels as high as 330 parts per billion by volume of air (red pixels) were measured. The pollution is seen being carried out over the Gulf of Tonking and the Island of Hainan.

Images from the MODIS instruments on Terra and Aqua show the locations of the numerous fires across the region and the thick, widespread pall of smoke they have been produced on April 3 and April 11.

Image courtesy the NCAR and University of Toronto MOPITT Teams