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Baseball’s home run boom is due, in part, to climate change


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Baseball is the best sport in the world for numberphiles. There are so many stats collected that the analysis of them even has its own name: sabermetrics. Like in Moneyball, team managers, coaches and players use these statistics in game strategy, but the mountain of available data can also be put to other uses.

Researchers have now mined baseball’s number hoard to show that climate change caused more than 500 home runs since 2010, with higher air temperatures contributing to the sport’s ongoing home run heyday. The results appear April 7 in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

Many factors have led to players hitting it out of the park more often in the last 40 years, from steroid use to the height of the stitches on the ball. Blog posts and news stories have also speculated about whether climate change could be increasing the number of home runs, says Christopher Callahan of Dartmouth College (SN: 3/10/22). “But nobody had quantitatively investigated it.”

A climate change researcher and baseball fan, Callahan decided to dig into the…

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