climate in crisis

Climate in Crisis: Warming Winter Olympics

NBC Universal, Inc.

Olympics host cities like Beijing may be impacted by climate change in the future. A recent study from Climate Central shows that in the last 70 years, Beijing has warmed on average nearly 9 degrees in the month of February.

Have you noticed that the venues for events have snow while the backdrop is bone dry. That’s because the mountains in Yancheng, China, get only about an inch of snow in February. So they’ve created artificial snow costing over $60 million using the amount of water that could fill 400 Olympic size pools along with snow making machines.

In the cold and dry conditions, the snow becomes hard and icy, often making the course dangerous for the athletes. When surveyed, 94% of athletes and coaches are concerned about the future and how climate change will play a role in the winter games.

Forecasts show warming temperatures will make Beijing a less reliable venue for the Olympics. Palisades Tahoe actually saw the least amount of warming, but declining snow will be an issue. And by the year 2100, it’s possible that only Sapporo, Japan, may be a suitable venue for the Winter Olympics.

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