How artificial snow affects Olympic athletes, the environment

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WGAL and Hearst are across the country taking part in an annual project called “Predicting Our Future”. We study the impact of harsh weather in our communities, as well as things we can all do to help the environment. Let’s take a closer look at the snow at the Winter Olympics. For the first time in the history of the 2022 Olympics, 100% artificial snow. Due to global warming, natural snow is becoming less reliable for winter sports, and opportunities for existing host cities to host the Winter Olympics are reduced. Climate Central says February temperatures in 19 cities where the Winter Games have been held since 1950 have risen by an average of 4.8 degrees, three times the world average. The temperature in February in Beijing has risen by almost 9 degrees over the past 70 years. Now the average high temperature in Beijing is below 40, while the average low temperature is in the mid-20s. February is one of the driest months in Beijing, and the probability of snowfall is very low. But the use of artificial snow is worth it. . More than 350 snowmen are installed on various sites for the production of artificial snow. The International Olympic Committee estimates that 49 million gallons of water will be needed to produce snow for the Games. This is equivalent to 74 Olympic pools. Athletes also say real snow is softer. Strips made with artificial snow are faster and icy, and some think it could be dangerous for competitors. As the temperature rises in the future, natural snow will become less reliable in cities where the Winter Olympics are held, which increases the need for artificial snow.

WGAL and Hearst TV stations across the country are participating in an annual project called “Forecasting Our Future”.

We study the impact of harsh weather in our communities as well as what we can all do to help the environment.

Let’s take a closer look at the snow at the Winter Olympics.

For the first time in the history of the 2022 Olympics, there will be 100% artificial snow.

Due to global warming, natural snow is becoming less reliable for winter sports, and opportunities for the Winter Olympics in the host cities are reduced.

Climate Central says temperatures in February in 19 cities where the Winter Games have been held since 1950 have risen by an average of 4.8 degrees, three times the world average. The temperature in February in Beijing has risen by almost 9 degrees over the past 70 years.

Now the average high temperature in Beijing is below 40, whereas the average low temperature is in the mid-20s. February is one of the driest months in Beijing, and the probability of snowfall is very low.

But the use of artificial snow is worth it.

The production of artificial snow requires a significant amount of energy and water, which is harmful to the environment. More than 350 snowmen have been installed at various sites to produce artificial snow.

The International Olympic Committee estimates that 49 million gallons of water will be needed to produce snow for the Games. This is equivalent to 74 Olympic pools.

Athletes also say real snow is softer. Strips made with artificial snow are faster and icier, and some believe it could be dangerous for competitors.

As the temperature rises in the future, natural snow will become less reliable in cities where the Winter Olympics are held, which increases the need for artificial snow.

Central climate

Predicted reliability of snow conditions in the host cities of the Winter Olympics.

How artificial snow affects Olympic athletes, the environment

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