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Satellite tracks wildfire plumes in Indonesia JAKARTA - Scientists in the United States have linked the extreme weather caused by El Nino to the widespread wildfires in Indonesia. "Droughts over Indonesia are often brought on by a shift in the atmospheric circulation over the tropical Pacific associated with El Nino conditions," said David Edwards, of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. "Although the current El Nino is rather weak compared to that of 1997-98, we have found dramatic increases in wildfire activity and corresponding pollution."

Edwards and colleagues used NASA satellite and other data for their research. During a period of very limited rainfall during the last quarter of 2006, the ranforest were exeptionally dry. This caused wildfires, which caused dust and soot to spread to big parts of Asia, to spread.

The Measurements of Pollution in the Troposphere (MOPITT) instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite tracked pollution plumes from wildfires spreading from Indonesia to the Indian Ocean and surrounding countries and measured increases in carbon monoxide levels, NASA reported. "Even though fires in South America and southern Africa typically produce the greatest amount of carbon monoxide, the pollution from Indonesian fires is likely responsible for most of the year-to-year variation in pollution levels throughout the Southern Hemisphere," Edwards told.



Posted in Forest fires @ 03 March 2007 04:38 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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