The New York Times published an article that suggests tennis star Roger Federer’s U.S. Open defeat on Monday was not the result of being bested by Australian John Millman, but instead because of man-made global warming.
“Roger Federer Is Tough to Beat. Global Warming Might Have Pulled an Upset,” reads the headline of The Times’ analysis of why, in this case, weather is the same thing as climate.
Millman defeated Federer in a fourth-round upset. It’s the first time Federer lost to an opponent not ranked in the top 50 — so, obviously there must be some larger explanation, like a changing climate.
After the loss, Federer said the hot, humid weather in New York City made him feel he “couldn’t get air; there was no circulation at all.” An enterprising Times reporter extrapolated that into an explanation of why hot summer weather could really be the product of global warming.
Times climate reporter Kendra Pierre-Louis suggested Federer’s comments about the hot, humid weather after his defeat made him “an unwitting spokesman for the effects of climate change.”
“Under climate change, overall temperatures are rising — 2018 is on track to be the fourth-warmest year on record — but the warming is not happening evenly,” Pierre-Louis wrote on Tuesday.
“Summer nights have warmed at nearly twice the rate of summer days. Average overnight low temperatures in the United States have increased 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit per century since 1895, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,” she added.
Dr. Ryan Maue, an atmospheric scientist at the libertarian Cato Institute, pointed out the absurdity of blaming a few days of hot summer weather on man-made global warming.
— Ryan Maue (@RyanMaue) September 5, 2018
However, even as Pierre-Louis admitted “[s]hort-term weather conditions are not the same as long-term changes to the climate, and a few hot days do not prove a trend,” she insisted “the unusual heat and humidity that appeared to strain Federer are in keeping with the changes that atmospheric scientists are seeing under human-caused global warming.”
“Normally this time of year, the daytime high temperature tops out at 80 degrees, with overnight temperatures in the 60s,” Pierre-Louis wrote, glossing over the fact she’s still talking about daily weather.
Now, it has been a hot U.S. Open this year with temperatures persistently above 90 degrees Fahrenheit with high humidity. Officials instituted heat rules and suspended junior competition games until conditions cooled.
Federer was not the only player to suffer in the heat. Lesia Tsurenko had to call for the doctor during one of her matches under the beating sun, and 16-year-old Caty McNally threw up on the court five times in the sweltering weather.
“You have soaking wet pants, soaking wet everything,” Federer said after his loss to Millman, suggesting the Aussie had an advantage because “he maybe comes from one of the most humid places on earth.”
Federer trains in Dubai during the off-season.
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