Climate change is threatening the hosting of the Winter Olympics and the future of snow sports by making the weather conditions more dangerous. Experts said just a week ahead of the beginning of the winter Olympic Games in Beijing that it would be very difficult for athletes and participants to perform in such extreme conditions.
The Winter Olympics in Beijing, starting from 4th February, is going to use 100% artificial snow by using 100 snow generators and 300 snow-making guns to cover the ski-slopes.
The researchers from the Sports Ecology group from Loughborough University said, “This is not only energy and water-intensive, frequently using chemicals to slow melt, but also delivers a surface that many competitors say is unpredictable and potentially dangerous.”
Standing amidst the arid climates, the two host cities, Zhangjiakou and Beijing, can use 49 million gallons of chemically produced water frozen as the research said.
Although China claimed that it would be using the natural rainfall to make snow, however, there are concerns the high amount of usage of water can put the region into pressures where scarcity of water already exists.
Natural snow is getting insufficient in many regions due to climate change, and the use of water to make enough snow is the result of the deviation from the natural phenomenon.
The research said, “The risk is clear: man-made warming is threatening the long-term future of winter sports. It is also reducing the number of climatically suitable host venues for the Winter Olympiad.”
The researchers further predicted that out of 21 venues used for the Winter Games since 1924, only 10 will remain suitable with natural snowfall for organizing the Olympics by 2050.
Chamonix has been rated at high risk with the venues Austria, France, and Norway. On the other hand, venues like Vancouver, Squaw Valley, and Sochi are unreliable to predict anything concrete at this moment.
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