Athletes from all over the world are preparing for an extremely cold Winter Olympics in South Korea, likely the 2018 games will be the coldest in more than two decades.
Weather forecasters say the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, which start Thursday, will easily be the coldest since the 1994 games in Lillehammer, Norway, which were the coldest on record. It got so cold on Saturday audience members walked out of opening ceremony rehearsals, USA Today reported.
Cold weather comes as some scientists and environmentalists claim that man-made global warming will make it harder to hold winter games in the future, pointing to the poor weather conditions during the 2014 games in Sochi, Russia. Cold weather by no means disproves global warming, however, it’s never convenient for those sounding the alarm.
A Yale University “Climate Connections” blog pointed to a recent study that claims “climate change is increasingly threatening the viability of the Winter Olympics, held once every four years.”
“Even if the goals set by the Paris Agreement in 2015 are achieved, only 12 of the 21 cities would be suitable by the late 21st century,” reads the Yale blog post.
“Innsbruck, Oslo, Sarajevo, Squaw Valley, Vancouver, Chamonix, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Grenoble and Sochi – all part of Winter Olympics history – would no longer be on the list,” the blog adds.
Ironically enough, Pyeongchang is still expected to be able to host the Winter Olympics even under the “high emissions” scenario, that projects lots of warming.
That projection — however right or wrong it may be — comes as no surprise to anybody who is currently in Pyeongchang.
“Worries about spectators catching hypothermia or staying home have been raised,” NBC reported Monday. Athletes will be well-insulated from the cold and attendees will be given a heating pad, blanket and raincoat.
Temperatures for Friday’s opening ceremony are forecast to range from 30 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, but colder weather will move in over the weekend and bring a low of 10 degrees.
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