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Video A Home Run on Steroids, Baseball & Climate Change

Steroids, Baseball and Climate Change


It's not easy to explain the relationship between extreme weather events, such as a record heat wave, and global climate change. Although emissions of greenhouse gases are making heat waves more common and more severe overall, you can't say that a specific event is due to global warming. This is where a helpful baseball analogy comes in. In this video from the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., researcher Jerry Meehl explains how greenhouse gases have a similar impact to steroids in a baseball player, which increase the chances of hitting a home run, but don't guarantee that each home run was caused by steroid use. 

We've used this analogy at Climate Central several times, since it accurately captures the links between certain types of extreme events and manmade global warming. However, we've never presented it in cartoon form, and this fun video is worth watching for that reason alone. 


By Raymond Najjar (University Park, PA 16801)
on February 8th, 2012

I’m here in the meteorology department at Penn State and just viewed the video at the suggestion of one of my colleagues, Chris Forest, who saw it last week at NCAR.  The video is very effective, and I will be sharing it with others.  Nice job, Jerry!  Thanks to you and others who came up with the idea and made the video a reality. —Ray

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