Rising temperatures across the globe are set to put the future of the Winter Olympics into doubt due to increasing greenhouse gas levels, it has been claimed
The Winter Olympic Games could soon be a thing of the past due to global warming and the ongoing climate crisis, experts have warned.
As a whole host of athletes get set to head over to Beijing for the 2022 Games, the future of the event hangs in the balance if increasing greenhouse gas levels follows their current trajectory.
A report looking into the potential future of the Games has suggested that just one of the previous 21 host cities would be reliably cold enough to hold the event by 2080.
The likes of Vancouver, Turin and PyeongChang would all become unsafe and provide unsuitable competition conditions due to global warming levels.
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The study conducted a survey with 339 elite athletes and coaches in an attempt to determine four indicators in an attempt to predict safe competing conditions: unacceptably high or low temperatures, rain, wet snow and poor snow cover.
This comes after ‘unsafe conditions’ has continued to rise over the last 50 years, with this expected to continue in the future.
Previous Games have shown clear evidence that the event is already struggling to cope with the increasing climate crisis.
In 2010 in Vancouver event organisers were required to helicopter snow in, due to low levels, whilst Sochi organisers in 2014 were forced to store tonnes of snow from the winter prior incase of a shortage.
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Similar issues have also been seen in this year’s home city, Beijing which is set to rely on artificial snow using an estimated 49 million gallons of water after the ski slopes area saw just 2cm of snowfall last winter.
An aspect that could well provide a saving grace for the Games if followed is the international treaty, the Paris Agreement of 2016.
In the published journal Current Issues in Tourism, University of Surrey researcher Daniel Scott said: “No sport can escape the impacts of a changing climate.
“Achieving the Paris agreement targets is critical to save snow sports as we know it and ensure there are places across the world to host the Winter Olympics.”
Three-time Team GB Olympic snowboarder Lesley McKenna described the recent changes as ‘concerning on every level’. She told the Guardian: “The changes are really concerning on many levels.
“The weather and snow are way less consistent now than they were at the start of my career.
“Plans have to be very flexible if a team is to make it to the best training locations.
“Everything then becomes more exclusive and more resource heavy and this doesn’t help anyone, or the climate either.”