(ORDO NEWS) — On February 4, the Winter Olympics will begin in Beijing, which will be the first to use virtually 100 percent artificial snow. For this, more than 100 snow guns and 300 snowplows will be deployed.
In some regions of the Earth, natural snow is becoming much less, and as a result of climate change, the availability of water to create snow is decreasing, which in general threatens the global snowsports industry.
Climate change threatens the Winter Olympics and upcoming snow sports, making conditions much more dangerous for athletes and participants, experts warn. The corresponding report was published shortly before the start of the Winter Games in China.
The Beijing Games will be the first to use fully artificial snow, with more than 100 snow machines and 300 snow plows deployed at full capacity to cover the ski slopes.
Experts from the Sports Ecology Group at Loughborough University (England) write that the upcoming games will require large amounts of water and energy.
In addition, you will need special chemicals that will slow down the melting of snow. On the other hand, these same substances can make the track unpredictable and dangerous.
The naturally arid cities of Beijing and Zhangjiakou can use about 49 million gallons of chemically filtered water frozen by snowplows, according to a new study.
China has stated many times that it uses only natural precipitation and recycled water to produce snow. Despite this, experts had concerns that too much water could leave the dry regions of the country without it.
“Navigating erratic snow seasons and rapidly melting low-end resorts is now the norm for many competitors,” the new report says.
Experts point out that anthropogenic warming poses a threat to future winter sports events, as the number of climate-friendly regions is decreasing.
Of the 21 venues used to host the Winter Games since 1924 in Chamonix, the researchers estimate that by 2050, only 10 will remain “climate-suitable” and have normal snowfall levels for the event.
Chamonix is currently rated “high risk” along with venues in Norway, France and Austria. For example, Vancouver, Sochi and Squaw Valley are already considered “unreliable”.
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