The satellite image shown here is of the Mojave Desert transformed into principal components to highlight geologic formations, land use and vegetation cover.
Scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) are using predictive tools to understand ecological changes driven by frequent fires due to invasive plant species in California’s Mojave Desert.
In collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey, scientists are integrating recent advances in fire science and remote sensing tools to characterize the relationship between non-native invasive plant species and wildfire in the desert under current and changing climate conditions.
Over the last six months NOAA’s satellites have tracked 323,828 fire targets. Each tiny speck of this image represents one fire signature detected by a satellite’s thermal sensor.
The month in which each fire occurred is represented here in shades of yellow and orange – the later in the year, the deeper the orange color.
A seasonal shift can be seen in the location, and most likely the cause of the fires. Agricultural burning in the Southeast U.S., along with Cuba, in the early spring yields to agricultural and oil production fires in the Plains during the mid-summer. As the summer intensifies and drought conditions worsen, large wildfires are seen across the Rockies, Sierras, and even the boreal forests of Canada.
A fire tornado, also know as a fire devil, is caused when a column of warm, rising air comes into contact, or causes, a fire on the ground.
Filmmaker Chris Tangey was able to capture images of a fire tornado that occurred in Alice Springs, Australia on September 17, 2012 . At the time, he was 300 meters away from the 30 meter high fire swirl which ‘sounded like a fighter jet’ even though there was no wind in the area.
Source: Daily Mail