Recent wildfires in Chile had a devastating impact on the country, its people and the environment. At least 11 people were killed and thousands were forced from their homes, the town of Santa Olga was destroyed and more than 160,000 hectares of forest was razed. The smoke plume generated by the fires stretched more than 2,000km out over the Pacific Ocean – about the same distance as from Amsterdam to Moscow.
An excellent article on the EUMETSAT science blog explains how this large smoke could be observed from space, using the GOME-2 instrument (on MetOp-A and B platforms).KNMI, NASA, EUMETSAT and O3MF also contributed in this study.
And our colleague Dr. Piet Stammes, Senior Scientist at KNMI and working in the O3M SAF, gave an interview explaining the importance of this work.
Why is it important to monitor smoke from space? Many reasons! Health, air pollution, climate, land use monitoring, aviation risk prediction, etc…
And smoke released from biomass can contain a lot of aerosols!
How can satellites help?
Read more on https://scienceblog.eumetsat.int/2017/02/observing-wildfire-smoke-plumes-from-space/