Global warming to prove big hindrance for winter Olympics

Published on : Monday, January 27, 2014

Global-warmingThe world is getting hotter by the day for whatever reason it might be. The question here is not why but the consequences of this global warming. By the end of this century, only six of the previous winter Olympics host cities – including Sochi in Russia – would be cold enough to reliably host the games owing to global warming threats.

According to an alarming study, fewer and fewer traditional winter sports regions would be able to host an Olympic winter games in a warmer world.

“The cultural legacy of the world’s celebration of winter sport is increasingly at risk,” said professor Daniel Scott, a Canada Research Chair on global tourism at University of Waterloo, Canada.

The average February daytime temperature of winter games locations has steadily increased – from 0.4 degrees Celsius at games held in the 1920-50s, to 3.1 degrees Celsius in games during the 1960-90s and 7.8 degrees Celsius in games held in the 21st century.

With additional warming projected for later decades of this century, as few as six former host locations would remain climatically suitable.

“This report clearly points out the challenges that lie ahead for the Olympics because of climate change,” said Chris Steinkamp, executive director of Protect Our Winters, a non-profit organisation.

“This would serve as a wake-up call to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and world leaders that major commitments to carbon reductions need to be made,” the researchers said.

Weather affects the ability to prepare for the games and can directly impact outdoor opening and closing ceremonies, fairness of outdoor competitions, spectator comfort, transportation and visibility and timing of television broadcasts, added the study.

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