When the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over Southeast Asia on January 20, 2008, the sensor captured this image of the onset of the agricultural burning season in Cambodia. Places where MODIS detected actively burning fires are marked in red. Like other countries in Southeast Asia, Cambodia’s climate is dominated by the monsoon, with rainy, humid weather from June through November, and dry weather from November to May. During the dry season, fires are widespread across the agricultural land in the heart of the country as farmers clear brush and the remains of the season’s harvest. Though it is not necessarily immediately hazardous, such large-scale burning can have a strong impact on weather, climate, human health, and natural resources.
The large image provided above has a spatial resolution (level of detail) of 250 meters per pixel. The MODIS Rapid Response Team provides twice-daily images of the region in additional resolutions and formats.
Thousands of fires burning in Southeast Asia were blanketing the region with blue-gray smoke at the time this image was captured by the MODIS instrument on NASA’s Aqua satellite on March 27, 2004. MODIS has been capturing images of the region’s agricultural burning season since early February, but activity seems to have picked up considerably in mid to late March.