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Global Warming and the Boston Marathon, Scientificalistically

Global warming will and/or will not affect many things. The 2013 Boston Marathon happens next Monday, April 14. This study implies that global warming will and/or will not measurably affect the results:

Effects of Warming Temperatures on Winning Times in the Boston Marathon,” Abraham J. Miller-Rushing, Richard B. Primack [pictured here], Nathan Phillips, Robert K. Kaufmann, PLoS ONE 7(9): e43579. (Thanks to investigator Sylvie Coyaud for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at Boston University, explain:

“It is not known whether global warming will affect winning times in endurance events, and counterbalance improvements in race performances that have occurred over the past century. We examined a time series (1933–2004) from the Boston Marathon to test for an effect of warming on winning times by men and women. We found that warmer temperatures and headwinds on the day of the race slow winning times. However…

“our models indicate that if race starting times had not changed and average race day temperatures had warmed by 0.058°C/yr, a high-end estimate, we would have had a 95% chance of detecting a consistent slowing of winning marathon times by 2100. If average race day temperatures had warmed by 0.028°C/yr, a mid-range estimate, we would have had a 64% chance of detecting a consistent slowing of winning times by 2100.”

Here’s some detail from the study:

 

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