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.
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.
- 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.
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.