The sun is glowing red this week – What does it mean?

Photos of the fiery red sunset are surreal.
red sun
Photo credit Imagn Content Services

The sun has taken on a reddish hue over much of the northern United States this week, making for a sight to behold.

People from the Midwest to Canada have been posting about the phenomenon on social media, and photos of the fiery red sunset are surreal.

What's really going on here? Meteorologists say the blood-colored sun is the result of haze and smoke from wildfires on the West Coast travelling through the atmosphere. The smoke scatters light, which leads to more vivid sunrises and sunsets.

Dozens of wildfires are burning in California, Oregon, Montana and Wyoming. The largest is the Bootleg Fire in Oregon, which has grown to half the size of Rhode Island. As the massive infernos spew smoke and ash into the air, skies as far away as New York and Toronto are becoming hazy.

While some are in awe of the sun's beauty, others are quick to point out the impact of climate change, which has made the West much warmer and drier in the past 30 years. Scientists say climate change will continue to make weather more extreme and wildfires more frequent and destructive.