Winter Olympics With Low Snow and Global Warming

Via Wikipedia Commons

Via Wikipedia Commons

Sam Haswell, Staff Writer

As the 2022 Winter Olympics are set to begin in Beijing, China, one of the biggest concerns is an unexpected one. Due to global warming, Beijing has seen no snow before they host the Winter Olympics, which started Feb. 4. Due to this unforeseen difficulty, Beijing has been forced to pump in snow, through snow generators and snow making guns. In fact, they are using 100% artificial snow, which is a first in Winter Olympics History. Some experts are concerned with this, including researchers from Loughborough University in England, who believe that it is using too much water and energy, with an estimated 49 million gallons of water that is frozen and chemically treated. Along with this, “Many competitors say it is unpredictable and potentially dangerous,” according to a report done by the researchers in England. Many are concerned if these low levels of natural snow are the new norm. According to the same study done by students at Loughborough University, they believe that, in 30 years, only 10 of the past 21 Winter Olympic venues will have the right snowfall needed to host a future Winter Olympics.

It’s not the conditions they train on and it takes a big toll on the environment.

— Priscilla Rayon, senior

Some La Jolla High students don’t really care about the snow being artificial. Senior Max Saenz said, “I don’t really care, snow is snow, but I guess it’s less authentic.” However some students think it presents a bigger problem, such as senior Priscilla Rayon. “It’s not the conditions they train on and it takes a big toll on the environment.” Some of the athletes agree with her, such as Estonian Biathlete Johanna Taliharm, who says “Artificial snow is icier, therefore faster and more dangerous.”