Home runs are really HEATING UP…
This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.
Baseball has seen increasing home runs over the past forty years. Could the secret sauce behind them be climate change ?
Christopher Callahan and team from Dartmouth College investigated.
Researchers mathematically modeled temperature’s influence using data from over one hundred thousand baseball games. Nerds. They also studied over two hundred thousand individual baseballs hit at similar angles and speeds. Ambient temperature was different while humidity, wind, and rain were controlled for.
Their findings? Each one-degree Celsius rise in temperature led to nearly two percent MORE home runs! This is likely because higher temperatures lead to lower air density. Researchers attribute an estimated SIX HUNDRED home runs since 2010 to warmer temperatures!
Climate change impacts every part of our lives, EVEN America’s pastime. More home runs are good for the batting team. But a warmer planet is bad for us all!
Either way – baseball’s hot streak is something we can all get into a FEVER PITCH about.
Callahan, C. W., Dominy, N. J., DeSilva, J. M., & Mankin, J. S. (2023). Global Warming, Home Runs, and the Future of America’s Pastime, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 104(5), E1006-E1016. doi: https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-22-0235.1