America’s National Hockey League has become the latest organisation to claim that global warming threatens its future. Despite the fact that most of its rinks are indoors, it is maintaining that rising temperatures may melt frozen lakes, thus making it difficult for young people to start playing the sport.
A report on the League’s environmental impact says:
“Perhaps more than any other sport, hockey is impacted by environmental issues, particularly climate change and freshwater scarcity. The ability to skate and play hockey outdoors is a critical component of the League’s history and culture. Many of the NHL’s players, both past and present, learned to skate outside on frozen lakes, ponds and backyard rinks. The game of hockey is adversely affected if this opportunity becomes unavailable to future generations.”
“We believe that this effort is not only the right thing to do for the environment, but is also a core strategy for the long-term success of our League. We have a vested interest in this cause. As a business, we rely on freshwater to make our ice, on energy to fuel our operations and on healthy communities for our athletes, employees and fans to live, work and play. Moreover, to continue to stage world class outdoor hockey events like the NHL Winter Classic, NHL Heritage Classic or NHL Stadium Series, we need winter weather.”
The report comes despite increasing evidence that global temperatures have not actually risen over the past decade.
Last month, a report by the UK’s Met Office which had predicted global temperatures would rise by half a degree centigrade over the past 10 years faced ridicule after it emerged that temperatures had actually dropped by 0.014 degrees.
The Antarctic ice sheet has also been growing to record levels this year. America’s National Snow and Ice Data Centre said that ice increase by a rate of more than 110,000 sq km per day during April this year to a total of 3.5 million sq miles – a record level for that time of year.
In fact, the Antarctic ice sheet is growing to such a level that the total amount of polar ice at both poles is now increasing, despite predictions that it would all but disappear.
So it seems the NHL need not be too worried. With all the extra ice available, it will be well set for a while yet.