Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Race against time: Climate change and the Olympic Winter Games

Date:
March 21, 2014
Source:
Taylor & Francis
Summary:
Time may be running out for some Olympic Winter Games host locations -- including the 2014 host, Sochi (Russia) -- according to an article. Researchers have analyzed two climatic indicators -- minimum temperature of less than 0 °C and snow depth of greater than 30 cm -- both from a historical point of view and using future projections. They find that only 10 of the 19 previous host locations for the Winter Games are expected to remain suitable in the 2050s, and as few as 6 in the 2080s. This will have a major impact on where -- and how -- future Winter Games can be staged.

Time may be running out for some Olympic Winter Games host locations -- including the 2014 host, Sochi (Russia) -- according to an article in Current Issues in Tourism. Scott et al analyse two climatic indicators -- minimum temperature of ≤0°C and snow depth of ≥30cm -- both from a historical point of view and using future projections. They find that only 10 of the 19 previous host locations for the Winter Games are expected to remain suitable in the 2050s, and as few as 6 in the 2080s. This will have a major impact on where -- and how -- future Winter Games can be staged.

The Olympic Winter Games is a global mega-event. It is important not only for elite sporting competition, but also for tourism, media coverage, sponsorship and the promotion of culture. The Games can bring substantial benefits to a host city and region, and the bidding process to become a host is highly competitive. Climatic suitability is a key element in assessing locations, with weather conditions being critical for outdoor competitions, opening and closing ceremonies, the scheduling of events, spectator comfort and televised broadcasts.

Average February daytime temperatures of Winter Games locations have steadily increased, from 0.4°C in the period 1920-1950s, to 7.8°C in the twenty-first century. Given these trends, not all previous locations are likely to be suitable hosts for the Winter Games in future years.

Scott and colleagues focus on two specific conditions to assess the suitability of host locations, namely the probability that minimum daily temperatures will be 0°C or lower, and the probability that the snow depth will be 30cm or more (with snowmaking capacity). They classify each of the 19 previous host locations for three time periods: baseline (1981-2010), 2050s (representing 2041-2070) and 2080s (representing 2071-2100). They consider low- and high-emission scenarios for the two future periods. On the basis of how often these conditions were, or are expected to be, fulfilled, locations are classified as climatically reliable, marginal/high-risk, or unreliable.

In a high-emission scenario, less than a third (6 out of the 19) of the previous host locations are projected to be climatically reliable by the 2080s. This raises a number of issues for organisers of the Winter Games. Over the next two decades there may be a greater impetus to award the Winter Games to locations that are expected to become unreliable by the 2050s. If fewer regions of the world are climatically suitable, other regions that have not previously hosted the Games may need to be considered.

As Scott et al conclude: "In a substantially warmer world, celebrating the second centennial of the Olympic Winter Games in 2124 would become increasingly challenging." Organisers of the Games need to consider changes in the scale and format of future events, and investigate technologies that can overcome climate vulnerabilities.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Taylor & Francis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. D. Scott, R. Steiger, M. Rutty, P. Johnson. The future of the Olympic Winter Games in an era of climate change. Current Issues in Tourism, 2014; 1 DOI: 10.1080/13683500.2014.887664

Cite This Page:

Taylor & Francis. "Race against time: Climate change and the Olympic Winter Games." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140321095016.htm>.
Taylor & Francis. (2014, March 21). Race against time: Climate change and the Olympic Winter Games. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140321095016.htm
Taylor & Francis. "Race against time: Climate change and the Olympic Winter Games." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140321095016.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) — Japan's bullet train turns 50 Wednesday. Here's a look at how it's changed over half a century — and the changes it's inspired globally. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) — Police body cameras are gradually being rolled out across the US, with interest surging after the fatal police shooting in August of an unarmed black teenager. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) — A look inside Monrovia's Island Hospital, a key treatment centre in the fight against Ebola in Liberia's capital city. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH: We Can Stop Spread of Ebola in Its Tracks

WH: We Can Stop Spread of Ebola in Its Tracks

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) — White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest reaffirmed the administration's confidence in the CDC's ability to keep the Ebola virus from spreading. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins