Smoke from Agricultural Fires in Western India
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Smoke from Agricultural Fires in Western India

April 23, 2013
At the base of the Himalaya Mountains in northwestern India, the annual agricultural fire season was underway in the Punjab state near the Pakistani border in mid-October 2005. Punjab occupies less than two percent of the area of the country, and yet it produces about two-thirds of the food grains in India. Wheat and rice are the two most commonly grown food crops. Farmers use fire to clear fields and get them ready for new plantings. In this Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image from the Aqua satellite on October 23, 2005, actively burning fires are marked with red dots. Haze hangs over much of the region. Although the fires are not necessarily immediately hazardous, such widespread burning can have a strong impact on weather, climate, human health, and natural resources. Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

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