What do I think, What can I do?

Archive for March, 2014

Winter Olimpics, Winter Sports and Climate Change


It is not necessary to be a visionary to guess that winter sports in general will suffer from climate change. In fact, they have been suffering with the limited amount of warming already experienced. Now that we have recently finished the winter olympics (I did not follow them, I admit), a study found that in the high emissions scenario (the one we are still in) most of the former host cities will not be suitable for another opportunity. And many sportmen claimed climate action.

Of course these kind of consequences will be secondary compared to sea level rise, extreme weather food security triangle. Yet, they are important for many people, and many jobs. In this case the effects are getting visible even now and reflect the huge economic effect climate change will have in many sectors. For example in the regions living from winter sports, are they conscious enough? I don’t think so, with climate  change many times happens that we are somehow aware of it but not to the extent of thinking about the possible consequences or implications, it is like a nightmare we expect to wake of.

The problem is that it will not disapear alone, the good news is that we can do a lot to reduce it.

Some images from the last storm in the Gulf of Biscay

Photo from Aizkorri beachclose to Bilbao

Photo from Aizkorri beach close to Bilbao

One of the fastest consequences of climate change are the strong storms. The equation is simple: the more heat in the ocean the stronger the storms, helped by the small but noticeable increase of sea level rise. In fact, the first news of the sea level rise,
The beginning of the year has been particularly violent in the cost around here with many strong storms and one really impressive. This link provides some pictures from the beautiful city of San Sebastian. The damage of last storm was important (even more in some other towns/cities) and economic impact is greater than direct repairing works in a city getting high income from tourism.
The media have not been extensive in the comments regarding climate change link, though it was mentioned in some cases. But I was quite happy to hear some clear words from some colleagues not involved in these discussions.
Of course, it is important to be cautious with attribution as climate and weather are not the same thing and being too emotional can enforce the type of discussion that helps skeptics. I think that wise comments accompanied by account of economic effects are much better in the crucial discussion of what is more expensive? To start carbon emission decrease (mitigation)? Or pay the effects?