Report says Winter Olympic sites are on thin ice
This is an excerpt of an article originally published on the Waterloo News site.
Climate change is threatening the viability of the Winter Olympics, according to a study by a multinational team of researchers led by the University of Waterloo.
The study, featuring researchers from Canada, Austria and China, found that if global emissions of greenhouse gases are not dramatically reduced, only eight of the 21 cities that have previously hosted the Winter Olympics will be cold enough to reliably host the Games by the end of this century.
“The world of winter sports is changing as the global climate continues to warm and elite winter athletes are witnessing the impacts of climate change at competition and summer training locations,” said Daniel Scott a professor of geography and environmental management at Waterloo. “The climate in many traditional winter sports regions isn’t what it used to be, and fewer and fewer places will be able to host the Olympic Winter Games as global warming accelerates.”
“There are limits to what current weather risk management strategies can achieve, and in the last Winter Olympics we saw those limits exceeded,” added Scott. “We predicted that weather and snow conditions would be a challenge at the 2014 Games in Sochi, predictions that came to pass when you consider the number of cancelled practices and complaints from athletes about inconsistent and unsafe conditions.”
If greenhouse gas emission reduction pledges to the Paris Climate Agreement are successfully achieved, only 12 of the 21 sites that have previously hosted Winter Olympics could still host the Games in the future. Previous hosts such as Squaw Valley in the U.S., Vancouver, Canada and Sochi in Russia would fall off the list.
“Climate change alters the geography of the Winter Olympic Games,” said Robert Steiger of the University of Innsbruck in Austria. “The International Olympic Committee will have increasingly difficult decisions about where to award the Games, and for some regions interested in hosting a future Winter Olympics, the time to bid for the games might need to be sooner than later.”
Learn about Horizon2020 at an information session
Are you a faculty member interested in learning about the Horizon2020 programme?
The Office of Research International Research and Partnerships team is holding an information session on Thursday, January 25 at 10:30 a.m. in QNC 1501.
The session will include a one-hour presentation by Luigi Scarpa de Masellis, Advisor, Economic and Cultural Affairs, European Union to Canada, covering:
- Basic features and structure of the program,
- International co-operation in Horizon 2020,
- Launch of the new Horizon 2020 work programme for 2018-2020,
- Specific opportunities targeting Canadian participation, and
- Policy dialogue and trend towards more programme-level cooperation.
Please register to attend.
If you have questions, please email Regan Child, Coordinator, International Research & Partnerships.
From Zero to Sixty in record time
Waterloo's unique history shapes the future of tomorrow.
The University of Waterloo’s founders couldn't have known that their vision for a new kind of post-secondary institution would lead to endless discoveries and innovative ideas. Or could they?
The Fall 2017 Waterloo Magazine shares light on Waterloo alumni growing tech talent across the globe and how a young woman in Mongolia believed she could connect and educate depressed teens in remote parts of her country with a smartphone app.
Read how Waterloo is changing the world of tomorrow as we speak, with features that include:
- Building the next generation of tech leaders in Africa;
- Disrupting traditional models of healthcare;
- Meet Graham, Waterloo’s new supercomputer
The Fall 2017 issue also profiles the recipients of the University of Waterloo 60th Anniversary Alumni Awards.
All this and more can be found in the latest issue online.
The third annual Waterloo Women: Ideas, Makers, and Innovators (WIMIn) event will take place on January 26 and 27.
WIMIn is an ideathon intended to inspire University of Waterloo students, alumni, and faculty to collaborate in developing world-changing ideas that could lead to potential products, businesses and a shift in mindset on pressing social issues. This one and a half day event will leave a direct and sustainable impact in supporting and connecting those who self-identify as women and non-binary to become leaders in their fields.
Space is limited, so register today.
Nominations for the four Federation of Students executive positions and Students' Council seats closes on Monday, January 15. The executive positions include President, Vice President of Operations and Finance, Vice President of Education, and Vice President Student Life, while there are more than two dozen Students' Council seats available, based on faculty, affiliated and federated institutions and satellite campus constituencies. Terms of office normally run from May 1 to April 30 each year. The Feds website has more details about how to secure a nomination.
Additionally, the student seats on the University's Senate are up for election concurrently with the other student elections on campus. Nominations have been requested for a Faculty of Arts vacancy, Faculty of Environment vacancy, and Faculty of Science vacancy, as well as an at-large student position. Nominations are also due by 4:00 p.m. on Monday, January 15. The Secretariat has more details about how to nominate someone for the two-year positions.