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An overview of the TRMM/TSDIS fire algorithm and product

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Since December 1997, the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) has provided tremendous opportunities for the understanding of global rainfall variability and mechanisms, as well as for retrieving and understanding of surface properties such as sea surface temperature and forest fires. The TRMM Science Data and Information System (TSDIS) fire algorithm routinely produces daily and monthly global fire products. These products have been achieved since January 1998. Any interested users may download these products from the TSDIS web page. The TSDIS night-time fire algorithm is a traditional threshold method using only the Visible and Infrared Scanner (VIRS) thermal band brightness temperatures. The daytime algorithm is a contextual approach that uses VIRS visible/near-infrared band reflectance and the University of Maryland (UMD) 1 km land type data to reject false fire pixels. This study compared the TSDIS fire products with the European Commission (EC) Joint Research Center (JRC) 1 km AVHRR fire products. The two products were in agreement on spatial and temporal variations over areas where both data were available. An analysis of the TSDIS monthly fire products during the two years of 1998 and 1999 manifested seasonal cycles of biomass fires over Southeast Asia, Africa, North America and South America. The data also showed interannual variations associated with the ENSO cycle in Central America and the Indonesian region during the two years. We compared the TSDIS monthly fire products with the aerosol index products of the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) of the NASA Earth Probe satellite. The results indicated that the major aerosol variations of the global atmosphere during the two years were associated with the smoke released by the biomass fires.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 30, 2002

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