There aren’t many baseball fans out there (chicks or otherwise) who don’t dig the long ball, and the possibility of getting to see a player go deep is one of the more compelling aspects of a typical baseball game.
The MLB has come a long way since the Dead Ball Era most baseball historians would agree ended around the time Babe Ruth rose to prominence.
However, you could also argue it’s fallen a long way since the Steroid Era that left America’s Pastime tarnished in the wake of an objectively electric period of offensive production defined by the likes of Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire, and Barry Bonds.
Last year, the league found itself dealing with a bit of a headache after players and fans alike complained about the drop in offense that could seemingly be linked to the new baseballs that were introduced to nerf exit velocity and distance (a supposed problem most people would probably argue didn’t need to be solved in the first place—especially when you consider the solution spawned an incredibly avoidable controversy).
It’s impossible to ignore the upward trend concerning the number of home runs that have been hit each season in recent years, and while there are a number of factors that have played a role, a new—and somewhat unexpected—one has emerged courtesy of a recent study.
Researchers at Dartmouth College examined data concerning 220,000 balls that were hit over the course of 100,000 MLB games in an attempt to establish a link between home run frequency and climate change in a paper that asserts batters can thank increased global temperatures for at least 500 dingers that were launched between 2010 and 2019.
The core science is about as basic as it gets, as the team behind the study noted “warmer air is less dense and a batted ball will carry farther” before diving a bit deeper into the data that suggests climate change will help contribute to more homers being hit based on current projections.
The paper asserts climate change will be responsible for around 192 more additional home runs per year by the time 2050 rolls around—although that assumes society and humanity as we know it won’t have collapsed by the time we reach that point.