Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC
Six people died and dozens more fell ill as temperatures soared to 47 degrees Celsius (116 Fahrenheit) in central Pakistan on May 21 and 22, 2004. Land temperatures, as measured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite, reflected the extreme air temperatures. Afternoon land temperatures are often higher than air temperatures because the land retains heat. In this MODIS image, taken on May 21, the land around the Indus River, the bright red line running from north to south through the center of the image, has reached 67 degrees Celsius (153 Fahrenheit). Along the top of the image, the temperature gradient in the Himalaya Mountains might correlate with elevation, as the temperature climbs up the color scale from the frigid, snow-capped peaks (blue) to the hot valleys (red). The countries shown in this image are, from the top left corner going clockwise, Turkmenitstan, Uzebekistan, Tajikistan, China, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. The true-color version of the scene shows the desert and mountain topography of the region.
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