(NBC News) — The explosion of home runs in Major League Baseball can be traced, in small part, to climate change, according to a study published Friday.

In a peer-reviewed paper published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Dartmouth College researchers said they can connect at least 500 additional home runs from 2010 to 2019 to Earth’s human-made warming.

The research was based on their simple premise that “air density is inversely proportional to temperature,” according to the paper, and that with all “else being equal, warmer air is less dense and a batted ball will carry farther.”

“In some ways this wasn’t all that surprising,” said Dartmouth doctoral student Christopher Callahan, who authored the paper with Nathaniel Dominy, a professor of anthropology; Jeremy DeSilva, the chair of the anthropology department; and Justin Mankin, an assistant professor who studies climate variability and the risks posed by global warming. “It was relatively straightforward. In some ways it was confirming that basic physical understanding that we already had.”

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