Threat to summer Olympics posed by extreme heat is a warning to us all – Scotsman comment

Scientists and athletes say dangerously high temperatures may mean Games will have to be moved to a cooler time of the year

A warning that athletes could collapse and even die because of extreme heat at this summer’s Paris Olympics is a stark reminder that dangerous climate change is upon us. A new report, produced by climatologists, heat physiologists and athletes, claims it could become “impossible” to stage the games in the summer.

Since 1924, the last time the Olympics were held in Paris, temperatures there have risen by an average of 3.1C in July and August. The last games in Tokyo – described as the “hottest in history” – saw temperatures of more than 34C and high humidity, which reduces the effectiveness of sweating, the body’s main means of shedding excess heat.

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Moving the Olympics from summer to cooler months, as the report suggests, would be one of many tangible signs of global warming. Insurance companies dealing with spiralling weather-related claims and farmers trying to adapt to droughts and floods are well aware of many others. As carbon emissions continue to rise, the world needs politicians who can grasp such realities and are capable of finding an effective solution to this increasingly pressing problem.

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