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Chinese researchers release annual burned area map at 30-m resolution

Updated: May 14,2018 3:08 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has recently released a global annual burned area map at 30 meters resolution.

Researchers at CAS constructed a high resolution sample database of burned areas using information provided by satellites including the United States’ Landsat. They then created a global burned area map using machine learning and big data analysis.

Burned area refers to land where vegetation has not been restored after wildfire. Based on the shape, degree, and location of burned areas, researchers can identify the type, speed, intensity, and timeframe of fires.

The burned area map will be one of the most important parameters for global and regional carbon cycle and climate change research.

The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the European Space Agency (ESA), and the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) have previously released global burning sites information based on different satellite remote sensing data. The highest spatial resolution was 250 meters.