Beijing experiences record-breaking warming ahead of Winter Olympics

This year’s host city has warmed nearly 9 degrees since 1950

February Warming in Beijing

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Winter Olympics are about to begin. This week on Forecasting Change we look at the warming in the Winter Olympic locations in the last 50 years. Over that period, the 19 different host cities have warmed 4.8 degrees Fahrenheit. That is about three times the global average!

Beijing, this year’s host, has warmed an astonishing 8.9 degrees. That puts them in third place out of the 19 host cities. China just had its hottest year on record in 2021.

February Warming in Beijing

The host cities in the U.S. have also warmed. Lake Placid has increased 2.4 degrees since 1950.

Lake Placid

Salt Lake City has warmed almost three degrees.

Salt Lake City

If warming were allowed to continue, the impacts do not look great for future Winter Olympic Games. This graph shows snow conditions declining in the coming decades.

Of course, some sports, like hockey, can always be held indoors. But for true outdoor events, like skiing, the snow going away could mean the events would not be able to be included.

About the Author:

Tom Sorrells is News 6's Emmy award winning chief meteorologist. He pinpoints storms across Central Florida to keep residents safe from dangerous weather conditions.