Drought-Stressed Forest Fueled Amazon Fires
NASA's ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS) sensor measured the water-stress levels of plants when it passed over the Peruvian Amazon rainforest on Aug. 7, 2019, before the fires there began. The map shows areas of plants in distress (brown) and areas of less stress (blue). Water-stressed plants released measurably less water vapor into the air at the time of the summer fires. The fire icons represent fires imaged by NASA's Terra satellite between Aug. 19 and 26. The burn pattern reveals that the fires were concentrated in areas of highly water-stressed plants, pointing to how water-stressed plants can impact the spread of fires. The data may one day help NASA's Earth-observing missions predict the path of future forest or brush fires.
More information about ECOSTRESS is available here: https://ecostress.jpl.nasa.gov/.