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Thick Cloud of Smoke Over Mexico

16.9N 98.7W

May 6th, 2013 Category: Fires

Mexico – May 6th, 2013

A thick cloud of smoke hangs over a large portion of Mexico. The exact locations of the fires are indicated by red and yellow markers (best observed upon opening full image), most of which are along the southern coast of the country.

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.

Upper Colorado River Delta in Gulf of California

31.6N 114.7W

April 27th, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Rivers

Mexico – April 26th, 2013

An estuary is an inlet, or bay at the mouth of a river or stream, where the salt water from the ocean mixes with fresh water. A positive estuary is one in which the seawater component is diluted; therefore, the water is brackish, with salinity less than that of the ocean. In contrast, a negative estuary is an estuary in which the evaporation of seawater is relatively greater than that of the fresh water input.

In the Gulf of California, there are a number of negative estuaries, which possibly were previously positive. However, due to human modification of the land use around the Gulf of California and water diversion for municipal and agricultural use, there are no longer many rivers that freely empty into the Gulf of California.

The upper Colorado River Delta, visible near the image center, is one example of a historically major estuary and wetlands ecosystem, that since the 20th century construction of upriver dams and diversion aqueducts on the Colorado River, is now a small ephemeral remnant estuary.

Smoke Over Southeastern Mexico

15.7N 92.8W

April 26th, 2013 Category: Fires

Mexico – April 25th, 2013

Smoke from fires in southeastern Mexico hangs in the air over the region, amidst dotted popcorn clouds. Smoke is an important hazard of fires, and is a prime cause of respiratory illness in humans as well as livestock in heavily burned areas. It can also affect health far from the source, as it is carried by winds.

Here, the smoke can be seen spreading southward over the Pacific Ocean. However, in mid-April smoke from southern Mexico fires was reported over the Gulf of Mexico and northward up to the Mexico-Texas border, with several air quality monitoring stations along the border reported unhealthy concentrations.

Fires Along Coast of Southern Mexico – April 26th, 2013

17.0N 99.8W

April 26th, 2013 Category: Fires, Image of the day

Mexico – April 25th, 2013

Dozens of fires burned across southern Mexico in late April, covering the region with a gray haze. Red “hotspots” dot much of the coastal plain, each indicating an area where the thermal sensors detected temperatures higher than background. When combined with typical smoke plumes such areas indicate actively burning fires. These fires may have been set to clear forest land for planting, as in southern Mexico forests often fall under intense pressure from forest clearing.

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