CNN published an article a few days ago bemoaning the lack of snow and cold at the winter Olympics and that all the snow had to be man-made. Of course, CNN immediately set about blaming global warming:
It would be hard to hold a conversation over the deafening sound of the snow machines preparing the Olympic venues northwest of Beijing. They are loud and they are everywhere, blowing snow across what will be this month's most-watched slopes.
It is almost beautiful -- except that the venues are surrounded by an endless brown, dry landscape completely devoid of snow.In an Olympic first, though not an achievement to boast about, climate variability has forced the Winter Games to be virtually 100% reliant on artificial snow -- part of a trend that is taking place across winter sports venues around the world.
Just one of the 21 cities that have hosted the Winter Olympics in the past 50 years will have a climate suitable for winter sports by the end of the century, a recent study found, if fossil fuel emissions remain unchecked.
As the planet warms and the weather becomes increasingly more erratic, natural snow is becoming less reliable for winter sports, which forces venues to lean more on artificial snow.
Nowhere in the article does the author provide meteorological data suggesting Beijing, thanks to global warming, has less snow or is warmer than it was decades ago. I couldn't find any data showing such a trend.
What I did find though is that Beijing is simply not far enough north to have reliably cold weather during the Winter. Beijing is 2,757 miles from the equator. Indianapolis, Indiana is 2,748 miles, just nine miles less. Indianapolis averages two more inches of snow during the winter than Beijing. Indianapolis averages high temperatures of 39 degrees during February. Beijing averages high temperatures of 42 degrees in February.
No one in their right mind would suggest Indianapolis gets enough snow or is cold enough to host the Winter Olympics. Why then Beijing?
Undoubtedly the answer is politics.