Copernicus Sentinel-2 reveals more fires than thought

Copernicus Sentinel data (2016), processed by University of the Basque Country–E. Roteta have discovered that there are more areas being affected by fire than previously thought. A study paper published in Remote Sensing of the Environment describes how researchers used the high-resolution imaging capability of the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission to produce the first detailed continental map of burns caused by wildfires. The authors focused on sub-Saharan Africa and found that 4.9 million sq km of land had been burned in 2016 (left image), which is 80% more than reported with information from coarser-resolution satellite sensors (right image). These new-found areas comprised mainly burned areas smaller than 100 ha.