Fires and smoke around Lake Baikal, Russia
Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC
Snow is shown retreating from a small portion of southeastern Russia in this series of true-color Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) images from the Aqua satellite and Terra satellites beginning on March 18, 2003, and stretching into May. Where snow has retreated, fires (red dots) are already burning, likely the result of early growing-season activities for farmer in the region. In many parts of the world, fire is used as a resource management tool, clearing land for planting, renewing pastures, and returning the remains of the previous season’s vegetatioto the soil as nutrients. At left in the images, ice appears to be thinning in a few places over Lake Baikal.