- On Wednesday the sky over San Francisco was remarkably dark and orange.
- Scientists say the color comes from smoke particles from fires across the state.
- San Francisco residents have turned to social media to share the sky, likening it to science fiction films like “Blade Runner.”
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As California experiences one of its most severe bushfire seasons on record, the San Francisco sky turned a menacing orange on Wednesday.
“We are living in a world that has been affected by global warming, and we are feeling the impacts,”
—Jared Petty (@pettycommajared) September 9, 2020
—Zneha (@mithrilmaker) September 9, 2020
Long-term warming, the effect of temperature on vegetation dryness and the ignition of strong winds lead to these extreme fires. The wind is also responsible for sending smoke to San Francisco. Combined smoke channels from wildfires around California blanketed the Pacific coast, blocking sunlight and causing the mysterious orange sky.
—Emily Dreyfuss (@EmilyDreyfuss) September 9, 2020
—Jason Goldman (@goldman) September 9, 2020
Local news channel KRON4 reported that smoke particles can scatter sunlight so that it appears red-orange when they settle in the air.
Residents posted photos and videos of the eerie horizon on social media.
—Liz Kreutz (@ABCLiz) September 9, 2020
—Sam Houston (@samhouston) September 9, 2020
Many found the sky scary, and some even compared it to the sci-fi “Blade Runner” films set in a dystopian future Los Angeles.
—Anaïs (@anaisisdrawing) September 9, 2020
—Gιℓєѕ (@ Gi1es) September 9, 2020
Several people, including Bloomberg reporter Sarah Frier, noted that they had to manually disable the color correction camera functions to capture vision.
—Sarah Frier (@sarahfrier) September 9, 2020
Diffenbaugh pointed out that the fires are the result of a confluence of conditions and the warming of global temperatures is just one factor people can consider in disaster prevention. He warned that with temperatures expected to rise three to five degrees by the end of the century, there will likely be fewer resources to fight many fires simultaneously.
—Jungho Kim / 김정호 (@jkimphoto) September 9, 2020
—Beth LaBerge (@bethlaberge) September 9, 2020
—Brian chorski (@brianchorski) September 9, 2020