Global warming affects the sports world

Green games: The impacts of global warming are having an impact in the sports world. Sports Illustrated has taken a closer look at where we are and where we may be going in regard to climate change and the games we play
Green games: The impacts of global warming are having an impact in the sports world. Sports Illustrated has taken a closer look at where we are and where we may be going in regard to climate change and the games we play
Have you seen the recent issue of Sports Illustrated? The magazine has a special report cover story on the impact of global warming on sports.

While the existence of global warming has been debated on this blog in countless stories, Sports Illustrated doesn’t even go there. It starts off with the basic assumption that global warming is happening and goes directly to the how it impacts the sports world. Without any help from Al Gore, it presents some pretty interesting perspectives on how the current climate crisis is impacting the games we play and watch.

I won’t give everything away from the magazine, but here were some interesting tidbits to chew on that might build your appetite to read the full package.

• Remember Willie Mays’ circus catch in Game 1 of the 1954 World Series. He made a spectacular over-the-shoulder catch in New York’s Polo Grounds that’s been replayed countless times as one of the game’s all-time greatest defensive plays. The day of that game, the temperature in New York was 76 degrees. With one more degree of air temperature (and government statistics on weather show that our climate has picked up 1.17 degrees since 1954), the ball Mays was chasing after would have flown two inches farther and would have likely not been caught by Mays. Warmer air is less dense allowing balls to travel further. Could that be a contributing factor to the increased number of home runs we’re seeing in baseball? Does that warmer, thinner air help golfers drive the ball to the record lengths we’re seeing today?

• People in the international skiing community aren’t poo-pooing the impacts of global warming. A record eight World Cup ski races in Europe were canceled this year due to lack of snow and warm temperatures. Several other major races were salvaged by spending $100,000s to truck in snow and beef up the ski runs. Temperature increases in the Alps are going up three times faster than the global average. And worldwide, some ski resorts are wrapping their glaciers in huge sheets of tin foil over the summer months to keep the sun’s rays from getting to the ice and melting them faster.

• Florida sports teams might want to start considering becoming swim teams instead of baseball, football, basketball or hockey squads. A rise of sea levels by one meter, which some climatologists are projecting could happened by 2100, would submerge eight stadiums and arenas in Miami, Tampa and Jacksonville that currently host big-time pro and college sporting events.

• Ash trees, which are the prime wood used to make major league bats, are now under increased stress due to the ash borer beetle. The bug thrives in warmer weather and has made a rapid sweep through the Midwest and eastern portions of the U.S. The situation is scary enough that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is collecting DNA samples of ash trees to be preserved should the ashes get wiped out by the beetles.

What do you think about global warming and the sports world? Share your thoughts here at Science Buzz.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Gene's picture
Gene says:

I thought world temperatures had increased 1 degree since 1890, not since 1954.

The recent IPCC summary released by the United Nations (without the scientific details, I might add; those are coming later) predicts, at worst, a 17-inch rise in sea levels by 2100 -- less than half a meter. I suspect a small seawall will be enough to keep the stadiums dry.

posted on Sun, 03/11/2007 - 1:58pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think that global warming is stupid! It has been recorded on Mars and several other planets, where there is no life at all. If it is happening on other planets, how can mankind be causing it on earth? God created this Earth with checks and balances.

Imagine how much farther science and technology could be if scientists didn't waste so much time on global warming.

posted on Thu, 03/15/2007 - 7:35pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

posted on Thu, 03/22/2007 - 9:32pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

It is also worth noting that on Feb. 2, 1970, Sports Illustrated ran a cover story on... global cooling.

Perhaps they should just stick to sports? ;-)

posted on Fri, 03/23/2007 - 9:31am
mike in  running springs, ca's picture
mike in running springs, ca says:

I am 44 years old so I remember the dooms day crowd and their global cooling fears, but I remember some very cold winters when I was a kid. The Orange trees in the low lands died from the cold, pipes burst, and their was snow on parts of the So Cal coast. Just like this January was, but we also had summers that were hot and humid just like last July. Hot and humud in the summer hmmm. I have read the melting of the arctic ice cap could cause other things to happen, for one thing the Gulf Stream could shut down due to too much fresh water in the North Atlantic. That would cause Europe and North America to cool off. Winters in Europe and Northeast US would be like winters in Canada, the Midwest and South could be colder and drier with shorter growing seasons, and the West Coast would have winters that are colder and wetter. Winters in So Cal would be more like winters in the Pacific Northwest. So don't worry about this climate change these weathermen can't even get the 10 day forecast right let alone the 1000 year forecast

posted on Thu, 03/29/2007 - 11:39am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think this is very wowing to me. I think it should wow and amaze everyone who sees facts like these.

posted on Thu, 04/26/2007 - 5:51pm
WI Hoosiers's picture
WI Hoosiers says:

wow, i thnk you are right. in 1987 bonds only had 25 homeruns, but had 48 hits that landed just 1 inch below the top of the fence. however in 2001, when the temperature was 1º warmer, he hit 73 hrs. you do the math.

posted on Wed, 09/19/2007 - 3:41pm
Steven's picture
Steven says:

this story gave me a a+ on my project


posted on Tue, 09/25/2007 - 8:17pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Congratulations to Sports Illustrated for their courage to take up the subject of Global Warming! It gives us Non-Americans hope. Hope that there acctually ARE some Americans who are not environmental-illiterates. Unfortunately, most comments so far on this page are re-confirmations of the jokes which spreads in the world. Jokes about the "un-educated Americans" who thinks that Environment and Economy (or Sports) are totally seperated matters. When people talk about environmental consciousness, there are jokes about "The pre-school American Adults" , etc. etc. I don`t think people in USA realize how much the "rest of the world" makes fun of America those days.
Please grow up! We need USA. USA has the power to change this world positively when it comes to Global Warming. We are waiting for your leadership.

posted on Tue, 10/16/2007 - 3:01am
gerg's picture
gerg says:

what good info i wish that everyone would read this it might make them think a little more "GO GREEN"

posted on Thu, 10/25/2007 - 8:56am
greg's picture
greg says:

this is by far one of the most interseting ways of getting tt the point that global warming does exist and that it might be time to do something about it . GO GREEN

posted on Thu, 10/25/2007 - 9:24am
Taylor's picture
Taylor says:

I agree 100% with what you're saying here. I think Global Warming is really happening, and could eventually take a toll on our sports in the world. We could eventually have no sports left, or even a world to live on. These climate changes known as "Global Warming" could be potentially dangerous if we don't take care of the Earth we live on.

posted on Sun, 02/03/2008 - 2:42pm
frank schade's picture
frank schade says:

Global warming is affecting us so much I wish we went back to global cooling.

posted on Fri, 02/15/2008 - 1:22pm
nabinbuzz's picture
nabinbuzz says:

I think global warming affects the each and every doubt sport is also one of them which adversely affected by we know that all types of sport events needs balanced and suitable environment.

posted on Sun, 06/06/2010 - 10:38am
Effects of Global Warming's picture

The report says that global warming effects are literally everywhere, with symptoms in every aspect of the environment and social space, and a solid, steady degree of worsening to boot. Heavier downpours, more intense heat waves, altered river flows and extended growing seasons were all given as examples.

posted on Mon, 06/28/2010 - 4:26am
Ebara Pumps's picture

Its the global issue and for this effect does not let any one to go, which already shows his effect at the Asian countries by the changing climates in a very slow speed which seems to be very dangerous for us. So rather than debating on this issue stop it if we can.

posted on Wed, 08/25/2010 - 11:43pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think that a lot of you dont know what you are talking about. You are not scientists and you do not know everything. There is no way that global warming is'nt happening. As for global warming happening on other planets, global warming is not only caused by man. There is also natural global warming which is cause by things that happen naturally that man cannot help. Global warming is happening and we shouldn't try to ignore it because ignoring it only makes the problem worse.

posted on Thu, 04/07/2011 - 2:36pm

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