Small fires, marked in red, dot the deep green plains of Buenos Aires province in Northern Argentina, seen here in this true-color Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image taken by the Terra satellite on January 1, 2004. To the west of the province, the landscape fades to the burnished gold and brown colors of high summer. As harvest time approaches, more of these fires will appear. Fire is a tool used the world over in agriculture.
On the edge of the Rio de la Plata, Argentina’s capital city - Buenos Aires - stands out as a spidery gray sprawl. This is a city of over 12 million, which is close to half of the country’s population. The city dates back to the 16th century, and has been an important trading center since at least the early 1800s.