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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.

Tropical Storm Ernesto (05L) Over Caribbean Sea

16.6N 80.6W

August 7th, 2012 Category: Tropical Storms

Tropical Storm Ernesto – August 6th, 2012

Enhanced image

Tropical Storm Ernesto - August 6th, 2012 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Tropical Storm Ernesto

As of 8 p.m. EDT August 6 (0000 UTC August 7), Tropical Storm Ernesto is located within 30 nautical miles of 16.5°N 82.1°W, about 295 mi (475 km) east of Isla Roatan, Honduras and about 415 mi (670 km) east of Belize.

Instead of Ernesto becoming more organized, moderate wind shear and dry air made Ernesto more disorganized as it travels through the Caribbean Sea. On August 6, Ernesto slowed from over 20 mph to 10 mph. As it moved over warmer waters and lowered wind shear, Ernesto intensified to near hurricane status.

Currently, maximum sustained winds are 55 knots (65 mph, 100 km/h), with stronger gusts. Minimum central pressure is 995 mbar (hPa; 29.38 InHg), and the system is moving west-northwest at 10 kt (12 mph, 19 km/h). Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 125 miles (205 km) from the center of Ernesto.

Terminos Lagoon, Chetumal Bay and Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, Yucatán Peninsula

18.5N 88.3W

January 13th, 2012 Category: Sediments

Mexico, Belize, Guatemala - January 6th, 2012

Sediments frame the Yucatán Peninsula, which comprises the Mexican states of Yucatán, Campeche, and Quintana Roo; the northern part of the nation of Belize; and Guatemala’s northern El Petén Department. Several lagoons and bays are also visible near the shoreline, including Terminos Lagoon, on the west coast in the lower left quadrant, and Chetumal Bay, on the east coast at the center right.

Chetumal Bay is a large bay in northern Belize and eastern Mexico in the south of the Yucatán Peninsula. 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. The bay is a part of the Caribbean Sea.

North of the bay is another smaller bay that is part of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, in the municipality of Tulum in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. It has been a Mexican national park since 1986. and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. Part of the reserve is on land and part is in the Caribbean Sea, including a section of coral reef. The reserve has an area of 5,280 km².

Vegetation Index of Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico – January 7th, 2012

20.0N 88.8W

January 7th, 2012 Category: Image of the day, Vegetation Index

Mexico - January 6th, 2012

This FAPAR image shows the vegetation index of the Yucatán Peninsula. The peninsula comprises the Mexican states of Yucatán, Campeche, and Quintana Roo; the northern part of the nation of Belize; and Guatemala’s northern El Petén Department.

Photosynthetic activity is generally mixed between good (green) and high (rusty red) across the peninsula, with some areas of concentrated higher activity to the south and some areas of low activity (yellow) along the northern coast.

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