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Hundreds of Fires by Base of Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico

18.4N 90.8W

May 1st, 2013 Category: Fires

Mexico – April 30th, 2013

The smoky haze is this image is created by hundreds of wildfires across the Yucatán Peninsula and around its base. Throughout the month of April such a haze has been visible over the region, also blowing over the Gulf of Mexico and to neighboring US territories such as Texas, causing air quality issues.

Forest Fires Across Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico – April 24th, 2013

20.7N 89W

April 24th, 2013 Category: Fires, Image of the day

Mexico – April 23rd, 2013

Although many forest fires can be seen across the Yucatán Peninsula, the over 480 forest fires reported in the state of Yucatán, in the northern part of the peninsula, so far this year is actually less than usual, according to Mexican authorities. The fires have scorched a little over 2,400 hectares (4,930 acres), 30 percent under the total for the same period last year. The reason for the decrease is likely due to heavier rains during the dry season.

Sediments Along Yucatán Peninsula Coast, Mexico

18.6N 91.5W

April 15th, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Sediments

Mexico – April 7th, 2013

Sediments frame the western coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, particularly near the Términos Lagoon. Scientists studying climate change scenarios for the region have reported temperature increases for all possible scenarios as well as a significant decrease in precipitation for some territories and an increase for others. Some results of this analysis are highly worrisome for the region due to the following: 1) radical changes in climate distribution and 2) increase in the surface space of arid zones (click here for more information).

Fires Across Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico – April 7th, 2013

20.1N 88.5W

April 7th, 2013 Category: Fires, Image of the day

Mexico – April 6th, 2013

Plumes of smoke from fires are scattered about the Yucatán Peninsula, particularly  near its base.  Visible on the western coast is the Términos Lagoon, green from sediments and algal growth. On the eastern coast is Chetumal Bay, on the Mexico-Belize border. Its waters appear whitish due to sun slint, which also highlights nearby rivers.

Chetumal Bay and Belize Barrier Reef, Yucatán Peninsula

18.3N 88W

March 4th, 2013 Category: Climate Change

Mexico and Belize – March 3rd, 2013

Chetumal Bay is a large bay in northern Belize and eastern Mexico in the south of the Yucatán Peninsula. It is situated near the center of this image and appears bright shades of green and teal. On the bay is the major city of Chetumal, in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. The mouth of the bay is redirected southward and buffered by a large Belizean island named Ambergris Caye. A smaller inlet known as the Corozal Bay, named after the town of Corozal, extends to the southwest. The bay is a part of the Caribbean Sea.

Visible south of the bay is a stretch of the Belize Barrier Reef, a series of coral reefs straddling the coast of Belize, roughly 300 meters (980 ft) offshore in the north and 40 kilometers (25 mi) in the south within the country limits. The Belize Barrier Reef is a 300 kilometers (190 mi) long section of the 900 kilometers (560 mi) long Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, which is continuous from Cancún on the northeast tip of the Yucatán Peninsula through the Riviera Maya up to Honduras making it one of the largest coral reef systems in the world.

Scientists studying climate change impacts in Belize have found that sea level rise and sea surface temperature increases are very likely to affect Mesoamerican coral reefs, with consequences for a number of endangered species: e.g. the green, hawksbill and loggerhead turtles, the West Indian manatee and the American and Motelet’s species of crocodile with warmer sea surface temperature of 1°C-3°C by the 2080s.