World on Fire
September 3, 2002 12:25 PM   Subscribe

World on Fire is brought to us by the fun kids at NASA, showing satellite images of active fires around the planet on July 11, 2002. "Across the world, the widespread fires that burn each year in the savannas of Africa, Australia, and Brazil dwarf even the most significant fire season in the western United States as far as total acreage and number of fires." NOVA Online has its own set of images from 2000 as well.
posted by keli (6 comments total)
Geez, I thought we had it bad in the US. Looks like everybody's burning.
posted by mikrophon at 2:13 PM on September 3, 2002

Cool movies. The fires in Africa are less intense since its often grassland while in the USA its mature forests (per the aricle).
posted by stbalbach at 2:24 PM on September 3, 2002

Does this also have anything to do with whether or not the geographical regions in question have any kind of fire fighter department? This is a matter of perspective. It's terrible when a smaller blaze occurs in North America because the area in question is either greatly inhabited, or comparatively near a populated area.

These fires in other parts of the world, are they equally inhabited? Or is this a case of: if lightning strikes a tree and causes it to fall in the forest, is there anyone around to notice the sound?
posted by ZachsMind at 2:59 PM on September 3, 2002

i think lots of the fires in the amazon are from clearcutting and destruction of the rainforests. i would even venture to say that's the case in alot of these areas.
posted by ggggarret at 3:24 PM on September 3, 2002

ggggarret, it's also the case with the fires you can see through SE-asia and Indonesia - mainly due to clearfelling and burning. But fires are a natural occurence, particularly in grasslands and sclerophyll vegetation. Many Australian plant species (such as Banksia) have seeds that are not viable until burnt.
posted by Jimbob at 8:46 PM on September 3, 2002

This makes great desktop wallpaper.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:49 PM on September 3, 2002

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