Oil Smoke in Southern Iraq
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Oil Smoke in Southern Iraq

April 1, 2004
A rupture on a major oil pipeline in southern Iraq spilled a pool of oil over the desert on March 23, 2004. The oil quickly caught fire, and when the Aqua MODIS instrument flew over the next morning, the burning oil was sending great plumes of black smoke northwest over Iraq. According to news reports, it’s not yet clear what caused the rupture, but it is probably a result of corrosion, not sabotage. In this MODIS scene, fires are marked with red dots. Also noticeable in the image is the increase of green vegetation growing in southern Iraq and western Iran. With spring's approach, temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere are gradually rising and allowing the plants to revive from their winter hibernation.

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