Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

World fire maps now available online in near-real time

26.05.2006


For a decade now, ESA satellites have been continuously surveying fires burning across the Earth’s surface. Worldwide fire maps based on this data are now available to users online in near real time through ESA’s ATSR World Fire Atlas.



The ATSR World Fire Atlas (WFA) – the first multi-year global fire atlas ever developed – provides data approximately six hours after acquisition and represents an important scientific resource because fire is a major agent of environmental change.

"The atlas is an excellent resource that provides a glimpse of the world that was not previously possible, and which is certain to allow ecologists to address both new and old questions regarding the role of fire in structuring the natural world," Matt Fitzpatrick of the University of Tennessee’s Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology said.


More than 50 million hectares of forest are burnt annually, and these fires have a significant impact on global atmospheric pollution, with biomass burning contributing to the global budgets of greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide. In the past decade researchers have realised the importance of monitoring this cycle. In fact, WFA data are currently being accessed mostly for atmospheric studies.

Quantifying fire is important for the ongoing study of climate change. The 1998 El Niño, for example, helped encourage fires across Borneo which emitted up to 2.5 billion tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere, equivalent to Europe’s entire carbon emissions that year.

There are over 200 registered users accessing the WFA. The data are being used in Europe, Asia, North America, South America, Africa and Australia for research in atmospheric chemistry, land use change, global change ecology, fire prevention and management and meteorology.

Harvard University, University of Toronto, National Centre for Atmosphere and NASA, among others, have used the data in research publications. To date, there are more than 100 scientific publications based on WFA data.

In addition to maps, the time, date, longitude and latitude of the hot spots are provided. The database covers 1995 to present, but complete yearly coverage begins from 1997.

The WFA data are based on results from the Along Track Scanning Radiometer (ATSR) on ESA’s ERS-2 satellite, launched in 1995, and the Advanced Along Track Scanning Radiometer (AATSR) on ESA’s Envisat satellite, launched in 2002.

These twin radiometer sensors work like thermometers in the sky, measuring thermal infrared radiation to take the temperature of Earth’s land surfaces. Fires are detected best during local night, when the surrounding land is cooler.

Temperatures exceeding 312º K (38.85 ºC) are classed as burning fires by ATSR/AATSR, which are capable of detecting fires as small as gas flares from industrial sites because of their high temperature.

The WFA is an internal and Data User Programme (DUP) project.

Mariangela D’Acunto | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/esaEO/SEMRBH9ATME_environment_0.html

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht From the Arctic to the tropics: researchers present a unique database on Earth’s vegetation
20.11.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

nachricht Fading stripes in Southeast Asia: First insight into the ecology of an elusive and threatened rabbit
20.11.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First diode for magnetic fields

Innsbruck quantum physicists have constructed a diode for magnetic fields and then tested it in the laboratory. The device, developed by the research groups led by the theorist Oriol Romero-Isart and the experimental physicist Gerhard Kirchmair, could open up a number of new applications.

Electric diodes are essential electronic components that conduct electricity in one direction but prevent conduction in the opposite one. They are found at the...

Im Focus: Nonstop Tranport of Cargo in Nanomachines

Max Planck researchers revel the nano-structure of molecular trains and the reason for smooth transport in cellular antennas.

Moving around, sensing the extracellular environment, and signaling to other cells are important for a cell to function properly. Responsible for those tasks...

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Coherence Tomography: German-Japanese Research Alliance hosted Medical Imaging Conference

19.11.2018 | Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helping to Transport Proteins Inside the Cell

21.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Meta-surface corrects for chromatic aberrations across all kinds of lenses

21.11.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Removing toxic mercury from contaminated water

21.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>