Ten years. That's
two-and-a-half Olympiads--enough time for our teams and athletes to take the
lead, galvanize attention and influence behavior. When they do, per usual, may
we cheer and may we follow. But as we watch, let us remember that this game is
different. We don't have the luxury of looking on from the sidelines. We must
become players too.
up to a one-meter increase in sea level by 2100, which will alter the shape of
the land in low-lying regions of the U.S.--including San Francisco Bay and
South Florida--and swamp well-known sports venues
JUST AS the
planet's air is warming, so too is its water. Almost all glaciers, ice caps and
ice sheets are melting. Simulations by climatologists at the University of
Arizona suggest that in less than 150 years, the Earth will be warm enough to
eventually melt the 650,000-square-mile Greenland ice cap (assuming no
reduction in greenhouse gas emissions). That would raise sea level by four to
six meters. Even if we were to stop all emissions today, the rise in sea level
could be a half meter by 2100.
In the U.S., where
150 million live along the shore, the hardest hit areas would be South Florida,
the Chesapeake Bay region, New Orleans and San Francisco. Says Stephen
Leatherman, director of the International Hurricane Research Center, " Miami
is within 10 feet of sea level, and it's the Number 1 strike zone for
hurricanes; it's a disaster waiting to happen."
from experience: He coordinated the major national study of damage done by
A warmer day might
have robbed Willie Mays of immortality
VIC WERTZ'S BLAST
would have been gone in just about any other ballpark. But the Polo Grounds'
expansive centerfield gave Willie Mays room to run down the 460-foot shot in
Game 1 of the 1954 World Series. As it happened, the Giants went on to sweep
the Series. According to newspaper accounts, it was 76� on Coogan's Bluff that
late September day when Mays made his over-the-shoulder grab. By the
calculations of University of Illinois physicist Alan Nathan, had it been 77�
(and according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Earth is
on average 1.17� warmer than it was in '54) the ball would have traveled two
inches farther in the less-dense air and thus might have glanced off the edge
of Mays's outstretched glove.
GETTING UP TO