May 1, 2012, 3:29 PM EST
Alternate headline: An Inconvenient Goof. As you’ve probably heard by now, Fox baseball broadcaster Tim McCarver raised a few eyebrows with his latest scientific theory during the Brewers-Cardinals broadcast on Saturday. There is an increase in home runs, said McCarver, because of global warming.
“It has not been proven, but I think ultimately it will be proven that the air is thinner now, there has been climactic changes over the last 50 years in the world and I think that’s one of the reasons that balls are carrying much better now than I remember,” he said.
“You know, the ball that Ramirez hit out and the ball Freese hit out, I didn’t think either one was going to be a home run, yet they made it.”
I’ll agree that the air is thinner — in McCarver’s head.
Anyway, this has caused quite a stir, in a cockeyed Jose Canseco, Karl Pilkington, Cosmo Kramer sort of way. The reaction on social media has bee rather amusing, but now an actual climatologist is adding his views.
Michael Mann, Penn State climatologist and author of “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars,” didn’t put much stock into McCarver’s link between climate change and baseballs carrying farther. In fact, he believes in the opposite theory.
“If anything, anthropogenic carbon emissions and global warming should make the atmosphere slightly heavier, because we’re taking carbon that was trapped in the solid earth and releasing to the atmosphere (in the form of CO2), and a warmer atmosphere will hold more water vapor. Both CO2 and water vapor contribute (slightly) to the mass of the atmosphere,” Mann told Peter Dykstra of DailyCimate.org.
Meanwhile, on Twitter:
Tim McCarver just implied that baserunners take their cues from crowd noise.
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