Saturday, April 30, 2016

Forest in Uttarakhand Burning for Months: A Satellite View

Forests in Uttarakhand region of India are burning for months. Since February, these fires have destroyed thousands of hectares of forest. Dry conditions combined with high temperature and strong winds have facilitated the fires to spread in the entire region (Travel India).

Smoke from the fires have filled the entire valley and spreading in surrounding regions, reaching to Delhi and other highly populated areas. This is a huge concern for the rising air pollution level in the region. Air Quality in many urban and rural area has been reached to a hazardous level.

Following Image shows the fires detected by NASA VIIRS sensor on NPP satellite on March 28th (top) and April 28th (bottom). The number of fires has drastically increased over the time.

The following series of images shows how smoke is spreading in the different region over the time. Images are taken by NASA’s MODIS TERRA Satellite.

The following image shows aerosol optical depth (a proxy for PM2.5) on April 30th over Indian region. The blue is for low and red is for high aerosol loading.

All the images were created using NASA Worldview

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