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If current climate trends continue, the Winter Olympics will have no place to go | Smart News

If current climate trends continue, the Winter Olympics will have no place to go | Smart News

Four female snowboarders compete on a course.

Four female snowboarders compete on a course.
Four snowboarders compete during the FIS Ski Cross World Cup 2022 Women’s Snowboard Cross final, which is part a 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games trial event. 
Wu Diansen / VCG via Getty Images

Climate change could dramatically alter the Winter Olympics by 2025. Only Sapporo, Japan, could host the Winter Games in the future if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. This is according to a new study. Current Tourism Issues finds. 

Under the current progression of climate change, 14 cities would be considered “unreliable” and six would be “marginal” in terms of snow safety by the 2080s, per NPR’s Jaclyn Diaz and Michael Levitt. If countries can reach the targets set in the Paris Climate AgreementMost places can continue hosting the Games safely without interruption. 

“Under a low-emissions future in the 2050s even the 2080s, we don’t really see much change in terms of those climate reliable locations,” study author David Scott, a climate scientist at the University of Waterloo, tells NPR. “We pretty much keep everything we have today.”

An Olympic cross country skier avoids a crash between two others.

Several skiers crashed during the 15-kilometer cross-country skiing race for women at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. Many top athletes fear that crashes will become more frequent with the increased use and availability of artificial snow.

AP Photo / Andrew Vaughan CP. File

The authors also conducted a survey of elite athletes and coaches in 20 countries. 94 percent fear climate change will impact the future of their sport. 

“With warmer weather, there’s less snowfall, so we’re much more reliant on man-made snow,” Rosie Brennan, a United States Olympic cross-country skier,  tells NPR. “Man-made snow is not as stable as natural snow. It tends be firmer, it becomes icier more quickly, and it has a faster top. 

Artificial snow can make cross-country skiers more dangerous, especially if they fall out of the course where rock and mud replace the snowbanks. Martha Bellisle, a Martha Bellisle reporter, says that artificial snow can make it more dangerous. Associated Press. According to the AP many athletes feel that crashes are more common. 

The 2022 Winter Olympic Games, which begin February 4 in Beijing, will be the first to rely entirely on artificial snow, per Sports Illustrated’s Alex Prewitt. China may need as much as 2 million cubic meters of water—enough to fill 800 Olympic-sized swimming pools—to create enough fake snow for this year’s Games, Carmen de Jong, a geographer at the University of Strasbourg, tells Bloomberg.

Last year was the fifth-hottest year on Earth. The past seven years have seen seven of the hottest years ever recorded. New York Times’ Raymond Zhong Report earlier this month. Warming weather makes training for snow sports difficult because conditions are constantly Season to season changes

“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,” Scott says In a statement

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