Global Warming’s Effect on Home Runs
By Olivia Colangelo
Global warming effect on home runs. Climate change affects all aspects of society in a multitude of subtle ways, from human health all the way to American pastimes such as baseball. A recent study published by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society showed that warmer air contributed to an estimated 1% of home runs from 2010-2019.
Climate scientists have concluded that the increase in runs is due to the lack of density in warmer air. More space is found between air molecules, therefore a baseball will come across less air resistance and will subsequently soar farther.
Using data gathered between 1962 and 2019, a study discovered that a baseball game that is 18 degrees Fahrenheit warmer could have 20% more home runs than the average game. This data was verified by an innovative high-speed camera, which has been in use since 2015. This technology gives analysts the ability to compare a ball coming off a bat at the same angle and speed on both a warm and cool day.
The data above shows the exponentially rising number of home runs hit since 1965. As Earth’s surface temperature warms, the number of home runs increases. (Photo courtesy of Scientific American).
Needless to say, home runs have other driving factors like steroid use, field elevation, and ball composition. However, scientists have isolated the impact of temperature in all experiments for accurate results.
In the past, teams have combated the heat by opting for night games or by building domes over their fields. In Denver, an area in which the air is significantly less dense, teams have stored their baseballs in a humidor to increase their weight.
Since 2010, over 500 recorded home runs are accredited to warmer air temperatures. This number is expected to surge within the next hundred years. The correlation between home runs and climbing temperatures demonstrates how truly nothing evades the impact of climate change.