A new Vinerism: 'Climate change threatens Winter Olympics'

From the opportunist headlines department, and the department of Vinerisms “children just won’t know what snow is” comes this press release. Apparently Winter Olympics will be a thing of the past. Via Eurekalert:

Only six of the previous Winter Olympics host cities will be cold enough to reliably host the Games by the end of this century if global warming projections prove accurate. Even with conservative climate projections, only 11 of the previous 19 sites could host the Games in the coming decades, according to a new study from the University of Waterloo (Canada) and Management Center Innsbruck (Austria).

From the University of Waterloo

Climate change threatens Winter Olympics

Only 6 of previous Winter Games venues to be cold enough by late-century

Only six of the previous Winter Olympics host cities will be cold enough to reliably host the Games by the end of this century if global warming projections prove accurate.

Even with conservative climate projections, only 11 of the previous 19 sites could host the Games in the coming decades, according to a new study from the University of Waterloo (Canada) and Management Center Innsbruck (Austria).

This is a chart showing former Winter Olympic locations that are climatically suitable for future games. Credit: Daniel Scott, University of Waterloo

“The cultural legacy of the world’s celebration of winter sport is increasingly at risk,” said Professor Daniel Scott, a Canada Research Chair in Global Tourism and lead author of the study. “Fewer and fewer traditional winter sports regions will be able to host a Olympic Winter Games in a warmer world.”

The study finds that internationally renowned Olympic sites, such as Squaw Valley (USA), Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Germany), Vancouver (Canada) and Sochi (Russia) would no longer have climates suitable to reliably host the Games by the middle of the 21st century. With additional warming projected for later decades of this century, as few as six former host locations would remain climatically suitable.

“This report clearly points out the challenges that lie ahead for the Olympics because of climate change,” said Chris Steinkamp, executive director of Protect Our Winters and who was not involved with the study. “It’s particularly powerful to see how past Olympic host cities could be impacted under a higher emission scenario, so hopefully this will serve as a wake up call to the IOC and world leaders that major commitments to carbon reductions need to be made.”

The need for weather risk management strategies by Olympic organizers has intensified as the average February daytime temperature of Winter Games locations has steadily increased – from 0.4°C at Games held in the 1920-50s, to 3.1°C in Games during the 1960-90s, and 7.8°C in Games held in the 21st century.

“Today it would be difficult to imagine successfully delivering the diverse Games program exclusively on natural ice and snow, as it was in the early decades of the Olympic Winter Games,” said Dr. Robert Steiger of the Management Center Innsbruck.

Weather risk management will become even more important in the coming decades with average February temperatures in past Winter Olympic host locations expected to warm an additional 1.9 to 2.1°C by mid-century and 2.7 to 4.4°C in late century.

The study found that the success of the Games is often partially attributed to favourable weather, while poor weather is highlighted as one of the greatest challenges faced by Olympic Organizing Committees. Weather affects the ability to prepare for the Games and can directly impact outdoor opening and closing ceremonies, fairness of outdoor competitions, spectator comfort, transportation, and visibility and timing of television broadcasts.

The study also examines how technological advancements and strategies developed over several decades have been used to manage weather risk at the Winter Olympics. Technology like snowmaking, track/jump refrigeration and high-resolution weather forecasting are now critical components of staging a successful Winter Games.

“Despite technological advances, there are limits to what current weather risk management strategies can cope with,” said Professor Scott. “By the middle of this century, these limits will be surpassed in some former Winter Olympic host regions.”

The study provides an important opportunity for reflection on the long-term implications of global climate change for the world of sport and the world’s collective cultural heritage symbolized by the Olympic Movement. It also reveals that for some cities and regions interested in hosting a future Winter Olympics, the time to bid for the games might be sooner than later.


A full copy of the report can be downloaded from https://uwaterloo.ca/news/sites/ca.news/files/uploads/files/oly_winter_games_warmer_world_2014.pdf


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Gawd help us to survive these lunatic claims.


And my alma mater (UofW) wonders why I don’t donate any more.
Vancouver and Sochi weren’t/aren’t winter sport cities in the first place…its the mountains stupid


LOL! I suggest Fargo, ND.


It wouldn’t hurt a thing for the hand wringing climate tragedy projectors if the climate were to be changing, just now, but a 17 year pause as agreed to by the world pretty much puts the lie to this latest evidence that the hoax isn’t dead.
Open note to the greenies: Be very fearful if evidence shows absence of climate change. That is a very abnormal condition, unprecedented, and possibly deadly to all living things.


I wonder how all those eliminated cities will react to a study like this making such bold claims based on such a weak “if”. “New study causes loss of millions (if not billions) of dollars in Olympic revenue to all but 6 cities!” I hope they react loudly.


But fear not – help is at hand thanks to the Yale Climate Media Forum and their “Team Climate”. Five eager young activists from Yale are heading off to Sochi to spread their message of doom, gloom and self-righteous preachy activism to the athletes and spectators there:


This is rank alarmism and in fact is deliberate propaganda. Goebbels would recognize the technique.


Seriously….a 7.4C average temperature “increase” in temps since the 1920’s?? Except the locations CHANGE? wow

Tom in Florida

All the more reason to use only one site for the Games (winter and summer games having their own single location), build all the facilities once, stage the games there every time. No worries. While we are at it, let’s get rid of the national uniforms and team sports. Go back to the original idea of individual competition with everyone who qualifies wearing the same Olympic uniform.
There, problem solved, next.


It won’t do them any good- it is the coldest winter evah and people are praying for warmth. Also, the day of climate alarmism has passed and people are either chuckling or yawning at this type of hype.


Just freakin great! The one I live in is apparently going to be perfectly fine no matter how silly their model predictions become
Looks like 70 more years of shoveling snow for me *sigh*
Freakin unreliable global warming!


The grand intelligence test for the public and and policymakers known as climate change claim of the week continues to unfold….and unravel. Or maybe no one really cares and this is just showmanship to go along with the paper mill efforts for tenure.

Louis Hooffstetter

“Only six of the previous Winter Olympics host cities will be cold enough to reliably host the Games by the end of this century if global warming projections prove accurate. ”
Stop right there! Global warming projections are a complete failure. No point in reading any further.

Erm…Sochi is almost subtropical in climate. Let’s wait for the Novaja Zemlja Games


Tom in Florida on January 23, 2014 at 9:27 am
That will only happen if IOC get a secret “donation” of several billion USD …

George Lawson

The absent minded Professor Scott is another so called scientist that I’ve added to my list of faux climate scientists who consistently ignore the facts even when they are staring them in the face, in order to secure additional funds to carry out additional research into the ‘problem’. This will then guarantee their employment for another few years. The scientific world is loosing its marbles.


It’s covered …
Upon witnessing the near-disastrous snow shortage at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, he figured the services of his nimble one-man company, Snow Secure Ltd., could help the organizers of the subsequent games, scheduled to take place in the warmest region of Russia.”
[ … ]
… a three-pronged approach. First, organizers will rely on ordinary snow-making equipment. Then, there are nearly 500,000 cubic meters of snow that Mr. Martikainen has stored since last season in some 14 insulated piles tucked away in the Caucasus Mountains. Lastly, organizers have imported three machines guaranteed to produce snow in temperatures as high as 59 degrees Fahrenheit.



I have a friend who was on the committee which selected Sochi. A concern at the time was that Austria would not have reliable snow by 2014. I don’t know how to get the real data out where it matters, but reports like this are one more sad example of the dilemma faced by people who must make decisions, but lack the expertise to know who to believe.


Once again this culture of whining and “chicken-little, the sky-is-falling” catastrophism targets fomenting radical cultural and political change without acknowledging that adaptation is far more likely to occur, if something like end-of-the-earth, exceptionally-high, unending warming actually happens. So what !!! if these sites can no longer host. Most of them didn’t even exist in their present form 80-90 years ago anyway, so 80-90 years into the future, brand new sites will vie for hosting the Olympics as well. . . . more importantly most of the “sport” that currently exists, as well as the “technology” necessary to support it (like refrigerated luge and ski jumping tracks, and the snow making mentioned) didn’t exist back then as well. Both “sport” and “technology” have evolved to SOLVE social desires and sport “problems”. How truly sad that these authors believe that along with Gorebal warming we are also going to experience a dearth in engineering and scientific creativity, as well as the creativity of our youth to “create” new death-defying, limb-breaking sports. Hockey exists in places that rarely see snow! Jamaica has a hilarious bobsled team! The “experts” who write this drivel can’t see past the ends of their own noses. They are clearly NOT the visionaries of our future, so why should we listen to them? I actually feel dumber for having read this.

Gail Combs

Dave says: @ January 23, 2014 at 9:16 am
LOL! I suggest Fargo, ND.
I second that (it is minus 10 °F with snow in the forecast) or how about Embarrass, Minnesota (-11.8 °F)

Let me see now, the end of century is 86 years off and the alarmist community haven’t yet got any predictions correct.
All that Arctic ice that was supposed to be gone in 2013 – er isn’t.
It’s more like tea leave reading than science.


Oh brother! Sochi has humid subtropical climate, and the last winter olympics in Vancouver, Canada is a city with a west coast marine climate (meaning a warm temperate climate where the mean monthly temperature all year round is well above freezing), perhaps the Olympic committee should choose better spots to hold the WINTER Olympics. For pete’s sake, it should be basic that the location of the “winter” Olympics should at least actually have a winter. No?

Frank K.

This is a joke, right?
(Current temperature at my location in New Hampshire @ 1 PM: 8 F).

Les Johnson

did they look at the snow coverage for the NH?
Its up over the entire record, and has been mostly positive over the last decade, with only 2 years of the last 10 being below average. The other 8 are ABOVE average.


“Chris Steinkamp, executive director of Protect Our Winters”
Now they’re just making !#$%# up…

Les Johnson

That was for Dec. In Feb when the Olympics usually occur, there has been even more snow coverage the last decade, but the trend looks flat.

Les Johnson

The winter snow extent is up, way up, over the record, by about 1 million sq km, in teh NH.
5 of the 6 years with the greatest snow extent, was in the last decade.

omnologos said:
January 23, 2014 at 9:37 am
Erm…Sochi is almost subtropical in climate. Let’s wait for the Novaja Zemlja Games
And hope the Russkies don’t drop another Tsar Bomba.

No more snow myth debunked!


They made one crucial error. The temperature datasets are constantly adjusted to cool the past and warm the present. So at the time the games were held, no doubt it was actually much cooler.

Jim M

I have lived in Lake Placid site of the 1980/1932 Olympics my entire life. The old timers always spoke of having to bring ice in by train for the ski jumping competition during the 1932 Olympics. There was no snow that year and 1980 I was 14 it was cold with no snow. Much like this winter we don’t have a lot of snow but the winter has been below average cold and the last two nights it was -30 and -23. We get more snow when it’s warmer.


“If global warming projections prove accurate”………..Excuse me, but doesn’t that mean the projections have ALREADY failed? Every model has been wrong.

Schrodinger's Cat

If this temperature plateau continues the alarmists will have to create a reason for non-climate change being a threat to the planet.

Leon Brozyna

Too warm for Winter Olympics?
And this is a bad thing because …??
Let’s see … no snow to shovel, no ice to slip on and fall. Of course, in the real world there won’t be such good fortune.


Minimum forecast temp for Sochi is -18C (0F) and -19C (-2F) on Saturday,
What do we need? a 20 degree warming by the end of the century?


IOC here’s a solution to your future shortage of winter Olympic host cities: drop the requirement to have the alpine skiing events near your host city — in particular the downhills. This will increase exponentially your choices for suckers er hosts. For example, in Canada: Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Saskatoon, Calgary (without the need to use that abomination of a hill Nakiska), Edmonton all are guaranteed to have winter conditions in February for the next million or so years.


…and its even cold enough to have it in Kitchener-Waterloo (home of UofW)

Matt G

In a northerly it will never be not cold enough for snow in these locations unless they expect temperatures to rise at least 10c in winter. In the mountains with a northerly even 10c at sea level is not warm enough to prevent snow. At 1300m it is cold enough to snow when at sea level it is 9c, How can a northerly warm these regions so much above 9c that will occur in January or February at sea level? It is impossible for this much warming to occur even if global temperatures increased by 4c on the extreme side of model predictions. Will it be too warm the for Olympics in future? Only if the location has persistent southerly with much warmer temperatures than normal,

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7

This is beyond parody. I assume there was a directive from the Climate Change Communication Programme (CCCP) to take advantage of the current Olympics(tm) publicity blitz and get extra airtime for the “climate message”. No doubt we will soon hear about a new study showing that climate change threatens the future of the US SuperBowl, or perhaps that all the households hosting SuperBowl parties need to purchase Carbon Credits (Indulgences) to make up for all the extra CO2 emitted by scarfing down extra Buffalo Wings and Beer. Or maybe that climate change will threaten future American Idol seasons …
The real threat to future Olympics is the increasing difficulty of fooling major cities into thinking they will get lasting benefit from hosting the games sufficient to justify a price tag at or exceeding $40 Billion (USD). [ Sochi is currently pegged at $51 Billion (USD) ]. Most potential hosts have wised up, or at least their citizens have.


Appalling data quality and processing. Very convenient to compare Chamonix, in the middle of the Alps with Vancouver, at the sea side.
The good thing is that some ski resorts are starting to get tired of so much fear-mongering and doomsday predictions. After all, is not good for their business. We need to get support for studies that show the opposite.
Kitzbuhel, a large ski resort in the Austrian Alps, recently made big news of their temperature cooling trend: http://tinyurl.com/osx6u7d


I understand from a colleague who consulted on Olympic security in Vancouver, and is doing so again in Sochi, that this city has an almost Mediterranean climate and has palm trees. It functions as a southerly sea-side resort for Russians. He regards the choice of location as a joke, and thinks its a product of Russian corruption (he’s of Russian descent).


The IOC could have the Winter Olympicnic at Cape Dennison each year and introduce a new sport, in which athletes have to swim through sea ice that isn’t meant to be there.


pre-empting any corrections, that last post wasn’t well composed, I know it should be every four years…

The funniest part is that these guys are equating bizzare location selection with CAGW. Selecting Vancouver does not mean that the climate is warming. It means that you selected a non winter city for the winter olympics.

Les Johnson

Even Calgary is not a good choice for the olympics. Its a coin toss as to the temps there. The record temps for Calgary proper, in February, is a high of +18.5 deg C, and a low of -34 deg C.
Neither temperature is conducive to Olympic sports.
Odd fact – the 1988 Calgary games are the only games to delay an event due to a dust storm….


If I look at Canadian games. The winter of 2010 in Vancouver was exceptional and very similar to 1958.
Calgary had the games in 1988, but the winter of 1986-1987 was about 2°C warmer than the warmest of the last 15 years. In February 1931, Calgary had 7 days with a max over 10°C and all the days had a max over 0°C. The winter of 1931 is the warmest measured winter at the Calgary airport.
I have found some huge data adjustments while looking at the Calgary data. The Weather office gives the raw data while Environment Canada does some adjustments. I have copied the data from 2 warm winters(1930-31 and 1986-87) and the warmest of the last 15 years(2005-06).
Calgary Int’l A, ID:3031093
Source: Weather office
Month : max, avg, min
Dec 1930: 6.0, -0.2, -6.3
Jan 1931: 5.5, -0.6, -6.6
Feb 1931: 7.2, 0.3, -6.6
Average : 6.2, -0.2, -6.5
Calgary Int’l A, ID: 3031093
Source: Environment Canada
Month : max, avg, min
Dec 1930: 4.7, -0.9, -6.5
Jan 1931: 3.9, -1.5, -6.8
Feb 1931: 6.4, -0.1, -6.8
Average : 5.0, -0.8, -6.7
Calgary Int’l A, ID:3031093
Source: Weather office
Month : max, avg, min
Dec 1986: 4.9, -1.7, -8.2
Jan 1987: 5.2, -1.1, -7.3
Feb 1987: 5.6, -1.5, -8.5
Average : 5.2, -1.4, -8.0
Calgary Int’l A, ID: 3031093
Source: Environment Canada
Month : max, avg, min
Dec 1986: 4.9, -1.1, -7.0
Jan 1987: 5.2, -0.7, -6.6
Feb 1987: 5.6, -1.1, -7.8
Average : 5.2, -1.0, -7.1
Calgary Int’l A, ID:3031093
Source: Weather office
Month : max, avg, min
Dec 2005: 1.0, -4.4, -9.7
Jan 2006: 5.0, -1.5, -8.1
Feb 2006: 1.2, -5.6, -12.3
Average : 2.4, -3.8, -10.0
Calgary Int’l A, ID: 3031093
Source: Environment Canada
Month : max, avg, min
Dec 2005: 1.0, -4.1, -9.2
Jan 2006: 5.0, -1.0, -7.0
Feb 2006: 1.2, -4.9, -11.0
Average : 2.4, -3.3, -9.1
In short the corrections have cooled 1930-31 by 0.4°C. The level of correction is nearly identical in 1986-87 and 2005-06 with an increase of 0.5°C. That’s an increase of 0.9°C in 80 years. I guess there was a lot of bare asphalt in 1930-31 at the airport because they have cooled the Tmax by 1.2°C while the 2005-06 Tmax is unchanged.


Typical left wing Canadian university junk – and even worse these are my tax dollars at work. Vancouver did a brilliant job, as do other nations with their Olympics. Russia will makes these games successful – events will proceed as normal.

Not quite as stupid as Viner – their prediction can only be tested after they are all dead.


I’m from a place called Muskoka, about two hours north of Toronto, Canada. It is a “snow belt”, in that the warm(er) waters of Georgian Bay (i.e., Lake Huron), combined with cold winds from the W or NW, dump a great deal of snow.
How much?
Well, they are about to set a record for snowfall, which will break the previous record set way, way back in….2008.