A climatologist discusses the impacts of global warming on the Winter Olympics and the ski industry

ALBANY, NY (February 2, 2022) – The Beijing 2022 Olympic Games, which begin tomorrow, will be the first Winter Olympics to use virtually 100% artificial snow.

It’s a new reality for Olympics and World Cup organizers who rely more on snowmaking equipment, despite athletes’ concerns about safety, in part because of the impacts of global warming on snowmaking equipment. natural snowfall.

Mathias Vuilleprofessor in the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences at the University of Albany, studies climate change and retreating glaciers in the tropical Andes.

Among his many observations, Vuille discovered that the Quelccaya Ice Cap in Peru, one of the largest tropical ice caps in the world, could reach a state of irreversible decline around the mid-2050s. He also conducted research on the Chacaltaya Glacier in Bolivia, once home to the highest ski resort in the world, which disappeared completely in 2009.

Vuille is available to discuss the impact of global warming on the Winter Olympics and the future of the ski industry.

“As an avid skier and someone working on climate change and glaciers, this is a topic close to my heart,” he said. “The shrinking of glaciers and the reduction in snowfall rates around the world are good visual reminders of the impact of global warming on our environment. People can see the change right in front of them.

“Closer to home, studies have examined the economic viability of ski resorts in the northeastern United States under different climate change scenarios. High elevation locations in the Adirondacks, Green Mountains, and White Mountains fare the best, while most low elevation locations will have shorter seasons or disappear entirely in most scenarios.

About University at Albany:

Public comprehensive research university, the University of Albany-SUNY offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master’s, doctoral and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all colleges and universities in New York State in fields as diverse as atmospheric and environmental sciences, Business, education, public health, Health Sciences, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, computer science, public administration, social well-being and sociology, taught by a long list of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a program enriched with 600 opportunities for study abroad, UAlbany launches great careers.


Teresa H. Sadler