How Climate Change Is Posing a Serious Threat to the NHL

The NHL is preparing to do something about it.

Zamboni on ice.

Image via Getty/Icon Sportswire/Contributor

Zamboni on ice.

Climate change stands to threaten more than just the polar bears (duh). Apart from threatening our very existence on Earth, rising temperatures are also taking their toll on some professional sports and, more specifically, the NHL.

The league is committed to a green future, and on Wednesday, it released its second sustainability report. Back in 2008, the league partnered with the National Resources Defense Council to create a pro-environment initiative, and ever since then, the league has been committed to doing its part to help the planet. It seems to recognize the impact climate change could have on hockey's future.

"Hockey was born on frozen ponds," the league said in its most recent report. "Climate change is impacting access to our sport outdoors."

According to the league, warmer conditions on Earth could potentially shave off a third of the skating season in eastern Canada. In the western part of the country, the conditions could trim the season by 20 percent in the coming decades. That could, of course, limit the number of people who play hockey and cut down on the quality of the players Canada produces. As the NHL's report said, "Changing climates, increasing resource constraints, and upcoming regulation impact the hockey industry."

With all that in mind, the NHL is taking steps to be proactive in the fight against climate change. After an internal assessment of its own environmental impact, the league put forth a number of goals that it's hoping to follow. For starters, it’s planning to install LED lighting in all its arenas over the next five years. The NHL also intends to work on raising team awareness of environmental issues and cut down on waste. Additionally, the NHL pointed out it has already started to try and use less water in arenas for the purpose of creating ice for games and carrying out other tasks.

Props to the NHL for taking accountability. Hopefully, Congress is taking notes. You can read more about the NHL's report here.

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