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Paris may be the hottest Olympics ever

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Paris may be the hottest Olympics ever

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The athletes are protesting that the organizers do not provide air conditioning in the Olympic village.

The cyclically recurring El Nino as a result of the weather so far broke many records over the past few months, but it seems that a whole series of anomalies caused by the phenomenon are still to come. Last summer, at first only for a month or so, and then finally the whole year was classified as a record in terms of high temperature.

This seems to be less of a problem in winter – although this is also a big problem in relation to the balance of the ecosystem – but with the arrival of the good weather, Europe’s problems with the heat may increase. In addition to the resulting general, local problems, this year an event attracting enormous worldwide attention also necessitates certain measures, and this is the Olympic Games to be held in Paris.

The XXXIII. Advertisements for the Summer Olympic Games are already announcing that the event will be the greenest in the series so far. According to their commitment, compared to the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Games, they would like to halve the level of carbon dioxide emissions caused by the organization and execution.

The organizers are doing everything they can to achieve the goal. This is how it happened that it was announced that the Olympic village would not be equipped with air conditioners. Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of the city, answered questions about the rest of the 10,500 Olympians and 4,400 Paralympians in the heat, that different passive cooling processes and other innovative solutions will ensure the cooling of the athletes’ quarters.

In addition to the fact that these methods are initially accompanied by skeptical opinions in science, they are certainly not suitable to perform satisfactorily in an extreme weather situation. And our chances are good that this year’s European summer will be extremely hot. In connection with this, there were even deaths in France last year.

A recent study warned that weeks of heat waves could hit the French capital during the 2024 Olympics. According to the scientific paper, the risk of breaking all previous temperature records during the Summer Games in Paris is not negligible. According to the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service, this year’s January has already proven to be the warmest since measurements began, and February also brought unprecedented heat.

The hottest Olympics ever - 2021, Tokyo
The hottest Olympics ever – 2021, Tokyo

Olympic organizers say they are already planning for heat waves and the possibility of extreme weather. They ran simulations to see what effect it would have if outdoor competitions started earlier or later, and if indoor venues were built to account for climate anomalies.

In response to criticism about the lack of air conditioning, they defend themselves by saying that the design, orientation of the buildings and the use of sun protection foils make it possible to provide up to 23-26 degrees in the buildings without the use of air conditioning, which consumes a lot and thus increases the carbon footprint. This – even if it seems tolerable – according to the representatives of several delegations, it is not suitable for the competitors to be in shape for weeks.

Several people have already indicated that they would like to complement passive cooling with a portable cooling device. The Greek and Australian teams made it clear that they wanted to take mobile air coolers with them to the Olympic village. The organizers mostly responded with understanding to this and allow devices with lower consumption, which they published a list of authorized devices to clarify.

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