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Goodbye Summer Olympics? Future of Games in Jeopardy Due to Climate Change

Aug 17, 2016 04:00 AM EDT
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Is it the end for the Summer Olympics? A new study claims that extreme global warming and climate change could put an end to the famous Olympic Games in the next decades.

According to the study published in the journal The Lancet, in seven decades (approximately by the year 2085), most of the cities will be too hot to host the Summer Olympic Games, and the world will only be left with eight possible host cities located outside Western Europe in the Northern Hemisphere.

To conduct the study, the researchers used two individual climate models in possible Olympic Game venues and analyzed the following climate factors in each location: heat radiation, humidity, temperature and wind data, Science Alert reports.

They then combined both models to make one unified model called the wetbulb globe temperature (WBGT), and identified cities in the Northern Hemisphere that had a 10-percent change of having unsafe level of temperature rise in the future.

The researchers revealed that cities like Istanbul, Madrid, Rome, Paris, Budapest and Tokyo, which are prospective and secured Olympic locations, will be unfit to host the Summer Olympic Games 2085 due to unsafe levels of heat.

Meanwhile, cities that could still host the games by 2085 include St. Petersburg in Russia, Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan, Riga in Latvia, Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia, Calgary and Vancouver in Canada, and San Francisco in the U.S.

"Climate change could constrain the Olympics going forward. And not just because of rising sea levels," said lead author of the study Kirk Smith via Phys.org.

"If you're going to be spending billions of dollars to host an event, you're going to want have a level of certainty that you're not going to have to cancel it at the last minute," he added.

However, extreme climate change in the future will not just solely affect the Olympic Games but everyday life too. Smith said that climate change will force humanity to change lifestyles and practices, including playing or exercising outside.

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