Updates

Amazon Region

Fire counts over the Amazon region up to the current year can be seen as additional entries into the 2016 Amazon Fire Season Charts. Click on any entry in a chart's legend to hide it from the chart. The chart will rescale accordingly. Hide all past years to allow for a better view of the current fire season.

2016 Amazon Fire Season

July 15th, 2016: The initial release of these charts contained an error which omitted fire counts from the Aqua satellite from 2003-2014. The charts have been revised to include these. This has roughly doubled the fire counts for each of these years, and 2015 & 2016 now show a closer relationship to previous years' fire counts.

The fire season in the southern Amazon runs from June to November, with peak burning activity in September along the eastern and southern Amazon forest frontiers, a swath sometimes referred to as the 'arc of deforestation.' Year-to-year variability in fires is strongly linked to climate anomalies, and both the El Niño Southern Oscillation in the Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation influence drought conditions and the risk of fires across the southern Amazon.

The strong 2015-2016 El Niño event lowered rainfall across the Amazon during the wet season, leaving the entire region substantially drier than normal at the start of the fire season. Projected fire season severity in 2016 across the entire southern Amazon region is at or near maximum observed fire activity since 2001, the start of NASA's MODIS satellite record. For more information on the 2016 Amazon fire forecast, please see the forecast page (available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese).

To follow the evolution of the 2016 fire season for the 10 forecast regions (6 states in the Brazilian Amazon, 3 regions in Bolivia, and Peru), click the radio dials showing the predicted fire season severity for 2016 or scroll down for more information. Figures are updated daily, based on active fire detections from the MODIS sensors on NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites. Estimated fire emissions are based on the historic relationship between active fire detections and GFED fire emissions for each region (see GFED Data or GFED Analysis for more information).

Estimated fire emissions for 2016 are preliminary, and should be interpreted with caution. The historic relationship between fire detections and emissions does not account for potential differences in fire types and climate conditions in 2016, variability that is considered using additional data on burned area and climate in GFED.

Acre: 93% Amazonas: 96% El Beni: 94% Maranhão: 93% Mato Grosso: 97%
Pando: 92% Pará: 98% Peru: 92% Rondônia: 94% Santa Cruz: 93%
Acre: 93%

Acre, Brazil 2016 Amazon Fire Season

Cumulative Monthly Fire Counts Last Updated: March 29th, 2018

*2016+ fire counts are based on latest release of MODIS L2 Fire Product.

Annual Emissions Estimates Last Updated: March 29th, 2018

2016+ emissions estimates are based on the linear relationship between fire counts and GFED emissions from 2003-2015 (r2 = 0.73)

amazonas: 96%

Amazonas, Brazil 2016 Amazon Fire Season

Cumulative Monthly Fire Counts Last Updated: March 29th, 2018

*2016 fire counts are based on latest release of MODIS L2 Fire Product.

Annual Emissions Estimates Last Updated: March 29th, 2018

2016+ emissions estimates are based on the linear relationship between fire counts and GFED emissions from 2003-2015 (r2 = 0.68)

elbeni: 94%

El Beni, Bolivia 2016 Amazon Fire Season

Cumulative Monthly Fire Counts Last Updated: March 29th, 2018

*2016+ fire counts are based on latest release of MODIS L2 Fire Product.

Annual Emissions Estimates Last Updated: March 29th, 2018

2016+ emissions estimates are based on the linear relationship between fire counts and GFED emissions from 2003-2015 (r2 = 0.82)

Maranhão: 93%

Maranhão, Brazil 2016 Amazon Fire Season

Cumulative Monthly Fire Counts Last Updated: March 29th, 2018

*2016+ fire counts are based on latest release of MODIS L2 Fire Product.

Annual Emissions Estimates Last Updated: March 29th, 2018

2016+ emissions estimates are based on the linear relationship between fire counts and GFED emissions from 2003-2015 (r2 = 0.61)

matogrosso: 97%

Mato Grosso, Brazil 2016 Amazon Fire Season

Cumulative Monthly Fire Counts Last Updated: March 29th, 2018

*2016+ fire counts are based on latest release of MODIS L2 Fire Product.

Annual Emissions Estimates Last Updated: March 29th, 2018

2016+ emissions estimates are based on the linear relationship between fire counts and GFED emissions from 2003-2015 (r2 = 0.85)

Pando: 92%

Pando, Bolivia 2016 Amazon Fire Season

Cumulative Monthly Fire Counts Last Updated: March 29th, 2018

*2016+ fire counts are based on latest release of MODIS L2 Fire Product.

Annual Emissions Estimates Last Updated: March 29th, 2018

2016+ emissions estimates are based on the linear relationship between fire counts and GFED emissions from 2003-2015 (r2 = 0.79)

Pará: 98%

Pará, Brazil 2016 Amazon Fire Season

Cumulative Monthly Fire Counts Last Updated: March 29th, 2018

*2016+ fire counts are based on latest release of MODIS L2 Fire Product.

Annual Emissions Estimates Last Updated: March 29th, 2018

2016+ emissions estimates are based on the linear relationship between fire counts and GFED emissions from 2003-2015 (r2 = 0.48)

Peru: 92%

Peru 2016 Amazon Fire Season

Cumulative Monthly Fire Counts Last Updated: March 29th, 2018

*2016+ fire counts are based on latest release of MODIS L2 Fire Product.

Annual Emissions Estimates Last Updated: March 29th, 2018

2016+ emissions estimates are based on the linear relationship between fire counts and GFED emissions from 2003-2015 (r2 = 0.80)

Rondônia: 94%

Rondônia, Brazil 2016 Amazon Fire Season

Cumulative Monthly Fire Counts Last Updated: March 29th, 2018

*2016+ fire counts are based on latest release of MODIS L2 Fire Product.

Annual Emissions Estimates Last Updated: March 29th, 2018

2016+ emissions estimates are based on the linear relationship between fire counts and GFED emissions from 2003-2015 (r2 = 0.83)

santacruz: 93%

Santa Cruz, Bolivia 2016 Amazon Fire Season

Cumulative Monthly Fire Counts Last Updated: March 29th, 2018

*2016+ fire counts are based on latest release of MODIS L2 Fire Product.

Annual Emissions Estimates Last Updated: March 29th, 2018

2016+ emissions estimates are based on the linear relationship between fire counts and GFED emissions from 2003-2015 (r2 = 0.83)

Totals 2016 Amazon Fire Season

Cumulative Monthly Fire Counts Last Updated: March 29th, 2018

*2016+ fire counts are based on latest release of MODIS L2 Fire Product.

Annual Emissions Estimates Last Updated: March 29th, 2018

2016+ emissions estimates are based on the linear relationship between fire counts and GFED emissions from 2003-2015 (r2 = 0.83)

2015 Fire Season

Indonesian fire season progression

Last and final update: November 16, 2015.

Heavy rains have been reported in Kalimantan starting October 26 and since then the fire season has been coming to an end. There are still fires burning but nothing compared to those that burned earlier in the season.

This figure shows how the current fire season progressed in relation to previous ones (2003-2014). On October 21 this year passed 2006, which was the highest fire year in the MODIS satellite era, 2000 onwards. The main fire season is August through October when the southern part of Indonesia experiences its dry season. However, in some years including 2014 the fire season in the northern part of Sumatra is prominent as well, burning in February and March.

Emissions estimates

We expect that the GFED estimate for the 2015 fires will be about 1.75 billion metric ton of CO2 equivalents, with substantial uncertainty.

Above the greenhouse gas emissions from Indonesian fires are plotted according to GFED for 1997-2014 with estimates for 2015 based on active fires. These are converted to emissions based on a relation between the two, established using data from previous years, see the figure and text below for more information. The numbers on the right indicate fossil fuel CO2 emissions for various countries for 2013 derived from the EDGAR database.

In general, fire CO2 emissions are compensated for by regrowing vegetation after a fire and should not be compared to fossil fuel emissions, but that is not the case when forests are burned to make way for other land uses or when peat is burned. That is exactly what happens with the vast majority of the fires in Indonesia and these fires are thus a net source of CO2 as well as other greenhouse gases.

Conversion of active fires to emissions

This graph shows how we derive the 2015 estimates. The grey dots indicate the total annual active fire observations in Indonesia on the horizontal axis and the corresponding GFED estimates are on the vertical axis with the years 2006 and 2014 labeled. Each grey dot represents one year between 2003 and 2014. The relation is not perfect and adds some uncertainty to those that are in these estimates already. The non-linearity is probably related to smoke obscuration of active fires in high fire years.

Note: we have adjusted the trendline describing the relation between active fire detections and emissions on October 20 to better represent the high fire years, especially 2006. This led to a small increase in emissions compared to the relation used before October 20.

Daily emissions

Using the conversion from active fires to emissions we can calculate daily emissions which is shown above. This has generated a lot of media interest after WRI showed that on many days the rate exeeds that of fossil fuel emissions in the US (roughly 15 million ton CO2 per day). Keep in mind though that these fires do not burn continuously at this rate: on a global annual scale they are far less important for climate change than other sources of greenhouse gases.

A few things to consider:

For more information please contact Guido van der Werf