Global Warming is messing up Hockey.
It is too warm too many days for the usual low tech solutions (like, “it is cold out”) to support casual neighborhood hockey play, which is considered a key feeder for the varsity, college, and pro levels. See: Global Warming Is Bad For Hockey. This is from the NHL Sustainability Report:
The NHL represents the highest level of hockey in the world. But before many of our players ever took their first stride on NHL ice, they honed their skills on the frozen lakes and ponds of North America and Europe. Our sport can trace its roots to frozen freshwater ponds, to cold climates. Major environmental challenges, such as climate change and freshwater scarcity, affect opportunities for hockey players of all ages to learn and play the game outdoors.
Ice fishing contests, to be planned out and to be party of the normal seasonal cycle of a given community, have to be doable almost every year. Several ice fishing contests in Minnesota, the Land of the Ice House (few people know that the original Laura Ingalls Wilder story was “Little Ice House on the Lake”) have been cancelled permenantly because the chance of warm conditions ruining the contest are too high. The northern most significant ice fishing context, the Eel Pout Fest on Leech Lake, was long considered to be too far north to be affected by global warming. Last year, it was too warm and that contest was cancelled. See: Global Warming Coming To An Ice Fishing Contest Near You.
And now, baseball. The World Series is apparently being played in some record hot temperatures and this is apparently making a difference. In temperatures over 100 degrees F, the balls move differently, the players are under significant stress, and I’d imagine the occasional fan drops of heat stroke.
For every 10 degrees F increase in temperature, a baseball that has been hit can travel about 2.5 feet father. So a typical fly ball at, say, 60F vs 110F may ultimately be able to travel 12.5 feet father, which can make the difference between catching it and not catching it. Unless you are Torii Hunter.
One thing we wont’ be seeing in relation to the World Series. Any mention of global warming in all the reporting of heat affecting the game. I’ve looked through a half dozen items,and the numbskulls that report sports appear to be unaware of it. At least Major League Hockey (see link above) recognizes the role of climate change in the ruination of their sport, and is trying to do something about it.
Admittedly the “ball goes farther” thing isn’t a negative. But all the other things are, like blizzards caving in stadium roofs, and tornadoes sucking teams out of the bull pens, and heat killing off the fans even before they get through the ticket line, that sort of thing.
Also, Puerto Rico is one of the major contributors of ball players outside the connected-50, and look what has happened there. I wonder if MLB is doing something to help Puerto Rico. Anyone know?