Last update: June 18th, 2019 at 9:00 am
On August 5, 2004, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image of the changing landscape of the Amazon. Deep green swaths of intact rainforest are increasingly surrounded by the sharp contours of agricultural land and the ragged lines that show the progression of roads deep into the forest. MODIS detected many fires in the region as well (red outlines). Some are likely routine burns of previously cleared farm and grazing land. Others, close to the new roads and at the edges of clearings, are billowing thick plumes of smoke. These fires are probably ongoing “slash and burn” deforestation.
Credit: Image courtesy Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center