Speed Reads

home run!

Baseball may see more home runs thanks to climate change

Warmer days are making your favorite batters even better.

Climate change has actually caused more home runs during baseball games, a new study has found. Since 2010, 500 home runs were linked to warmer temperatures due to climate change — and that number is only expected to rise. "As soon as it gets warm, the ball carries a lot better," Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez told The Washington Post.

Warmer air is less dense than cool air because the molecules are moving faster away from each other, The Associated Press writes. In turn, the air is thinner and has less resistance allowing balls to fly further. "Global warming is juicing home runs in Major League Baseball," remarked study co-author Justin Mankin, a Dartmouth climate scientist.

The 500 home runs linked to climate change only account for approximately one percent of total home runs, so other factors including skill and strategy still play a significant role, the Post continues. However, the study does serve as a reminder for "all of the ways in which climate change is going to touch just about every aspect of our lives," Mankin explained. The United Nations has warned against allowing temperatures to rise above 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels. The impacts both ecologically and on the field will intensify with each bit of additional warmth. 

"Global warming is going to reshape so many of the things that we care about in so many pernicious and subtle ways," said study lead author Chris Callahan. He adds that while the changes in baseball are not "a civilization-ending crisis," they still indicate "the way that we have reshaped our lives due to our greenhouse gas emissions."