It’s no surprise that a warming globe is hard on cold-weather sports – on their participants and fans, the businesses they support, and their importance to local cultures. As the 2022 Winter Olympics unfold in China, let’s consider some specifics.
Though most of what follows focuses on North America, the problems are global: “Photos of abandoned ski lifts and snowless slopes reveal the toll that rising temperatures are taking on winter resorts” (Holly Secon, Business Insider, 2020).
Warmer (and less reliable) temperatures affect the whole range of outdoor winter sports: from Alaska’s dog-mushing Iditarod race, through ice skating, hockey, and ice fishing, to Nordic or cross-country skiing:
Because of the size of the industry and its popularity, downhill skiing and snowboarding have been written about the most when it comes to the effects of climate change. Here are some especially illuminating stories:
Finally, back to the Winter Olympics, for this interactive story about some unsettling recent research: “Rising temperatures threaten future of Winter Olympics, say experts” (Neils de Hoog, The Guardian)
This series is curated and written by retired Colorado State University English professor and close climate change watcher SueEllen Campbell of Colorado. To flag works you think warrant attention, send an e-mail to her any time. Let us hear from you.