On April 17, 2013 the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer aboard NASA’s Terra satellite passed over southeastern Europe and acquired this true-color image of an early spring afternoon across the region.
Winter-like ice and snow still grips northern Russia (center and east), as well as Estonia, Latvia and Belarus (west). Further south, in the Ukraine, southern Russia, Georgian and Kazakhstan, the snow has retreated and spring vegetation has begun to grow, coloring the landscape with green.
Along with the greening of spring comes planting and cropping – as well as the fires that are used as agricultural tools to prepare the ground, clear new land, and renew pastures. While mutiple fires speckle the southern landscape, they each appear to be burning in discrete locations. The smoke from the dozens of fires, however is not so discrete. It spreads widely across the warming region, especially in southeastern Russia.