The Winter Olympics are underway in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Climate and winter sports advocacy groups have been using social media to highlight the expected impacts of global warming on future Winter Olympic sites.
This is not a new story, but research that shows that climate change is likely to make nine former Winter Olympics sites too warm to host the Games again has been circulating using the hashtag #ClimateWhiteout.
Groups have been concerned that media outlets are avoiding the climate change ‘elephant in the room’, instead focusing on minute detail of the Olympics reporting.
The research, originally published in 2014, was updated this month to include the Pyeongchang Olympics. A team of researchers, led by Daniel Scott, a geography professor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, came to the conclusion about the nine sites by taking climate data from previous Winter Games locations and applying climate-change models to predict future winter weather conditions. (There is a report here).
A number of competitors in the Olympics have adopted the hashtag and are sharing the climate impacts message.