Climate Change “Could” Melt The Olympics

And people who take fossil fueled flights and automotive rides all over the world are like, super concerned. Here’s Time’s resident climahysteric, Bryan Walsh

Climate Change Could Melt the Winter Olympics

Among the other worries about the upcoming Winter Games in Sochi—terrorism, empty seats, Shaun White’s new haircut—is something even the czar himself, Russian President Vladimir Putin, can’t control: the weather.

The seaside city of Sochi is actually subtropical, with daily high temperatures around 50 F (10 C), and even though the Alpine events will be held on mountains dozens of miles away from Sochi, organizers are worried that rain and high temperatures will wash out the Games—just as they did in Vancouver during the unseasonably warm winter of 2010. Organizers will do their best to counter the climate with hundreds of snow guns and 710,000 cu m (25.85 million cu ft) of snow stashed from the year before, but Sochi could make for a soggy Games.

It likely won’t be the last. A report (PDF) from the University of Waterloo in Canada and Management Center Innsbruck in Austria found that only six of the previous 19 Winter Olympic cities will remain cold enough to reliably host the Games by the end of the century should the most dire predictions of global warming come true. Even by mid-century, close to half of the previous host cities would likely be too warm for outdoor sports like Alpine skiing and snowboarding. That includes cities like Squaw Valley in California (1960), Chamonix in France (1924) and Vancouver (2010). “Fewer and fewer traditional winter sports will be able to host an Olympic Winter Games in a warmer world,” said Daniel Scott, the Canada Research Chair in Global Tourism at Waterloo and the lead author of the report, in a statement.

Walsh notes that it doesn’t help that many of the Winter Olympics are held in places that aren’t necessarily conductive to holding a Winter Olympics, like Sochi. Anyhow, two points. First, none of this proves anthropogenic causation. It’s just part of a mostly natural cycle during the Holocene of a warm periods between cool periods. Second, if they’re relying on their computer models, well, the vast majority have already failed.

In April 75 Olympic medallists in skiing and snowboarding sent a letter to President Obama, urging him to take stronger action on climate change. “Without a doubt,” they wrote, “winter is in trouble.” And if climate change is bad as we fear, so are the Games.

Can we assume that these 75 medalists will refuse to take fossil fueled travel to compete/attend the Olympics? Or to travel around skiing and snowboarding?

Save $10 on purchases of $49.99 & up on our Fruit Bouquets at Promo Code: FRUIT49
If you liked my post, feel free to subscribe to my rss feeds.

Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed

7 Responses to “Climate Change “Could” Melt The Olympics”

  1. a patriot says:

    key word, could.

    total b.s.

  2. a patriot says:

    key word, could.

    total b.s.

  3. Jeffery says:


    Your latest stake in the ground appears to be at “anthropogenic causation”, i.e., the Earth is warming but we have no idea why. It’s true that our Earth is retaining heat or receiving more heat and warming. What is your hypothesis for why the Earth is warming rapidly?

    N.B. – There is no evidence for magic so the cause should contain an explanation consistent with the physical laws of the universe.

  4. Springy_Gumballs says:

    should the most dire predictions of global warming come true.

    We need to start throwing out papers about “should the most dire predictions of global ice age come true.”

    No more food. No more readily available water. No more cars as the oil will freeze to a sludge. People will be forced to live underground. Olympics themselves will be a thing of the past as it will be too cold to even leave your homes. Extreme Low Pressure systems will mean instant death outside of the new pressurized homes. Forests will be denuded all across the globe as people cut them down for heating as the pumps on oil wells will freeze up. The globe’s habitable zone will be within 10 degrees of the equator leading to mass extinctions and euthanasia of our populace ….. should the most dire predictions come true.

    (see, I can do it too)

  5. jl says:

    J-“What’s your hypothesis on why the earth is warming rapidly”? Poor Jeffery keeps on avoiding the question he can’t seem to answer that’s been asked several times elsewhere. “Rapidly warming” compared to what? And, define “rapidly warming”. An then after that comes the big one- How do you know it hasn’t rapidly warmed in the past? You don’t, so as usual J has nothing.

  6. Jeffery says:

    poor jl,

    As I’ve told you before, the warming of the past century constitutes rapid warming. You know, a change in the global mean temperature of around 1C in a hundred years. Contrary to what the Pirate claims, this is not a trivial or miniscule change in the global mean temperature and couldn’t happen without a cause.

    Are you suggesting there have been temperature excursions such as this during the Holocene?

    Did you know that when climate scientists plug rapid warming episodes randomly into the Holocene data sets that the models detect them? Wow.

    If I have nothing, you have much, much less than nothing.

  7. Springy_Gumballs says:

    According to the MET office, we’ve increased about 1.2C since the end of the Little Ice Age. This is what happens when a world warms. Nothing you’ve said, or anyone posted has shown any at all linkage to man.

    According to the CET graph, there were many periods similar to today’s temperature increases (around 1989, 1818, 1698, 1628). INteresting, there were also periods of near similar DECLINATION of cooling trends.

    According to Ljungqvist et al 2012, our temps are still no where near the Medieval Warming Period. And to IPCC AR1. And Loehle and McCulloch 2008.

    If anything, NO ONE has yet to disprove that we’ve been on a cooling trend since the Medieval Warming Period. Or, it could be said that we are returning to normal. Or it could be said that our current temps are WAY above normal according to millennial time scales.

    Over the last 2500 years, we’ve cooled about 4C, but you want to whine about a natural rise of 1C????

Pirate's Cove