有滑雪者的雪山

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Beijing 2022: environmental cost of world’s first Winter Olympics without natural snow – expert Q+A

The 24th Winter Olympic Games are underway in the Chinese capital, but winter itself seems far away.

为了弥补寒冷天气的不足, the organisers are using vast quantities of water and energy to supply the events with fake snow.

What are the consequences of maintaining artificial winter conditions on this scale? Dr 玛德琳奥尔, a sport ecologist in the Institute for 体育运动 Business at 金沙登录, 考虑比赛的环境记分卡.

奥尔博士继续说 每周对话播客t.

How important is the local climate in Winter Olympic Games?

The first Winter Olympics took place in 1924 in Chamonix – a town in the French Alps. 所有的事情都发生在户外. The Games organisers flooded courses to create natural rinks for ice hockey and tracks for sledding sports. T在这里 was plenty of fresh powder snow for skiing, too.

More recent Games have used significant amounts of artificial snow. 奥运造雪机 已经说过 that Sochi 2014 was about 80% fake and in Pyeongchang 2018, closer to 90%. Now we’re watching a Winter Olympic Games in Beijing with 100% artificial snow, 这是前所未有的. T在这里’s a whole range of questions that this raises in terms of the safety and competitiveness for athletes and the environmental cost of the Games.

The last few Olympics were poorly chosen for their natural conditions. Climate change has increased the temperature and shifted precipitation patterns in Beijing, but not so significantly that conditions are substantially different to what they were ten years ago when the bid was advanced. A Winter Olympic Games 在这里 was always going to rely on artificial snow because Beijing and Zhangjiakou (the mountain city in Hebei province which will host skiing events) are just not that snowy. 在这种情况下, snowmaking is a great stop-gap solution: you can produce snow, 你不能产生低温.

Since the 1960s, ski resorts have increasingly relied on artificial snow. To survive, resorts must be able to open about 100 days of the year. 机会越来越少了. In Europe, for example, the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche 研究 发现 that about 12 days have been lost from the beginning of the season and 26 days from the end since 1970 in the Swiss Alps. 在北美,金沙登录也看到了类似的数字.

The northern hemisp在这里 has lost about four million square kilometres of spring snow cover – about a 减少10% 在过去的四十年里. 人工造雪是解决办法. 这就是金沙登录在北京所看到的. But if these trends continue and in 40 years the world loses another 10%, 或者如果冬季气温继续上升, 造雪可能无法弥补这一差异.

造假雪需要什么?

在本届奥运会上, seven machine rooms and pumping stations move water up mountains w在这里 it’s pushed through high-pressure pumps, 然后强迫, 与空气, 从风扇里冲出来 超过350个雪炮. It falls on the ground and typically has chemical additives that help it bind together, 但是在这些比赛中, 造雪的人 声称不含化学物质 涉及到. 一组美容师把雪铺在周围.

The Chinese organisers have used reservoirs of water that have been 收集雨水和径流 for a long time, and they claim to not be pulling from general sources of drinking water. This was contested by local newspapers which reported on 河流改道 to accommodate the fake snowmaking, and officials have 据报道,灌溉系统被关闭 灌溉农田以保存地下水. But for the most part, it seems the event organisers are pulling from predetermined reservoirs.

China has claimed the Games will be 100% powered by green energy, and Beijing organisers have gone to great lengths to secure access to renewables. 该网站的分析 碳短暂 suggested that Zhangjiakou can generate more green energy than most countries and its pioneering grid system can deliver electricity to Beijing and neighbouring regions.

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新闻稿参考编号:22/31

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