Fires in South America. Fires continued burning in Brazil on August 22, 2010. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite took this picture the same day. This shows part of the Mato Grosso region in north-central Brazil. Fires, marked by red outlines, send plumes of smoke primarily toward the west.
The high-resolution image, which has a resolution of 1 kilometer, shows a larger area of burning fires, including blazes in parts of Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina. Bolivia declared an emergency over fires burning out of control, according to news reports. Fire is perhaps the primary means of clearing land for agricultural in the Amazon, but such fires can quickly spread. South America is a continent in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. It may also be considered a subcontinent of the Americas, which is how it is viewed in the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking regions of the Americas. The reference to South America instead of other regions (like Latin America or the Southern Cone) has increased in the last decades due to changing geopolitical dynamics (in particular, the rise of Brazil).[additional citation(s) needed]
It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east by the Atlantic Ocean; North America and the Caribbean Sea lie to the northwest. It includes twelve sovereign states (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela), a part of France (French Guiana), and a non-sovereign area (the Falkland Islands, a British Overseas Territory though this is disputed by Argentina). In addition to this, the ABC islands of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Trinidad and Tobago, and Panama may also be considered part of South America.
Credit: NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Michon Scott.