Sentinel-3 World Fire Atlas

3 min read

News:According to the data from its Sentinel-3 World Fire Atlas,the European Space Agency(ESA) has announced that compared to August 2018,there were almost five times as many wildfires across the world in August 2019.

Facts:

Key takeaways from the study:

  • The Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission has recorded 79,000 fires in August this year compared to just over 16,000 fires detected during the same period last year.
  • The data revealed that 49% of the fires were detected in Asia, around 28% were detected in South America, 16% in Africa, and the remaining were recorded in North America, Europe and Oceania. 

About Sentinel-3:

  • Sentinel-3 is an Earth observation satellite constellation developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) as part of the Copernicus Programme.
  • Sentinel-3 uses the satellite data to plot the number of fires occurring monthly.
  • The sensors on satellites measure thermal infrared radiation to take the temperature of Earth’s land surfaces.This information is used to detect and monitor the heat emitted by the fires.
  • This data is important as fires have a significant impact on global atmospheric emissions with biomass burning contributing to the global budgets of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide.

Additional information:

About Copernicus Programme:

  • Copernicus is the most ambitious Earth observation programme till date.This initiative is headed by the European Commission (EC) in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA).
  • The programme aims to provide accurate, timely and easily accessible information to improve the management of the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure civil security.
  • ESA is developing a new family of satellites called Sentinels specifically for the operational needs of the Copernicus programme. 
  • At present,three complete two-satellite constellations are in orbit plus an additional single satellite, Sentinel-5P.
  • The Sentinels will provide a unique set of observations, starting with the all-weather, day and night radar images.