Across eastern Brazil, numerous fires (red dots) were detected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite on October 14, 2002. Compared to fires elsewhere in Brazil, for example, those farther north near the Amazon River (see additional images in this series), the fires pictured seem to be producing little smoke.
Along the eastern coastline, a few patches of dark green are all that remain of a unique forest ecosystem called the Atlantic Rainforest. Distinct from Brazil's other tropical forest?the Amazonian Rainforest?this ecosystem once stretched across nearly the entire Atlantic coastline and inland for hundreds of kilometers. Now only small fragments remain, for example, along the coastline at the bottom left of the image.
This image originally appeared on the Earth Observatory. Click here to view the full, original record.