The Effect of Global Warming on the Winter Olympics


man skiing

The Effect of Global Warming on the Winter Olympics

We have one year to go before the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, and many people are gearing up! From February 9 to 25, 2018, the city of PyeongChang, South Korea, will welcome nearly 3,000 athletes from nearly 100 nations for the first Winter Olympics to be held on South Korean soil.

In light of one of the biggest sporting events, I can’t help but consider how global warming can affect the future of this fantastic game.

In 2014, we witnessed how global warming had an undeniable effect in The Winter Olympics game in Sochi, Russia. Temperatures were warmer than ever. In fact, a year prior to the event, millions of cubic feet of snow were stored in insulated blankets due to fears that there would not be enough snow. Furthermore, over 400 snowmaking guns were used to make sure there was enough snow for skiing. Ultimately, Sochi ended up being one of the warmest Olympics ever.

All this brings to mind the question, “what does the future of winter Olympics actually look like?” If there is even much of a future.

"Right now, all of the past host cities were deemed climate reliable," said Daniel Scott, the Canada Research Chair in Global Change and Tourism at the University of Waterloo, who has been studying the relationship between sports, recreation, and the environment for a couple of decades.

"But by midcentury, that number drops to about half, and by late century, under the warmer scenarios that number is down to as few as six."

In a worst-case scenario with emissions, by 2080 more than half of the last 20 Winter Olympics would not be climatically viable. Meaning there would not be enough snow for events or the temperatures would be too high to even compete.

The beauty of the Winter Olympics, apart from the sporting events themselves, is the destination. We are catapulted into many countries around the world to watch this event on TV or online, and if you are a massive fan (that can afford to), sometimes, you even travel there yourself. Some cast lots wondering where the next Games would be held, as there are an array of countries to choose from. We have been taken to Vancouver in Canada, Salt Lake city in the United States, Torino in Italy, to mention but a few. There’s just something about the Games that captivates us.

Unfortunately, what vast research is showing, as climate change continually occurs, is that we will not have as much snow in many regions of the world as time goes on. As a result of this, fewer and fewer countries would be deemed viable to host this event.

The future of the Winter Games is met with so much uncertainty. If things continue as they are, and the whole world does not take steps towards becoming more eco-friendly and saving our planet, we would lose the Winter Olympics. And, who knows what else we could lose. As an individual you could take the first step and be more eco-smart, as a company you can go paperless

#beecosmart #gopaperless


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