New satellite imagery released by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is shining light on just how much artificial snow is being used for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
NASA said in a post on Feb. 1 that one region being used for the Olympics is relying on “hundreds” of snow machines to create enough snow for some skiing events.
Alpine skiing, bobsled, skeleton, and luge events are taking place on the Xiaohaituo Mountain in Yanqing, which is a suburb in Beijing, but the presence of “hundreds” of snow machines are needed because the region receives about 1.3 inches of snow on average in the month of February.
According to a report by Loughborough University in London, the Beijing Olympics are operating on “virtually 100% artificial snow,” and notes that some athletes have claimed that the artificial snow is dangerous.
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“Freestyle super pipes are formed from snow-making machines in a poor [natural snow] season, the walls of the pipe are solid, vertical ice and the pipe floor is solid ice. This is dangerous for athletes, some have died,” Scottish freestyle skier Laura Donaldson said, according to the report.
The report noted that the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics is the first to operate on almost 100% artificial snow, which requires a large amount of energy to produce.
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In addition, there are also environmental concerns with using artificial snow.
A report from the American Chemical Society states that artificial snow melts slower than natural snow, and can “create ice layers on plants and damage them.”
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“These effects on the water table and plants have the potential to alter the biodiversity of a local ecosystem,” the report notes.
Yaqiu Wang, a senior China researcher for Human Rights Watch, told Fox News Digital that many democratic countries simply aren’t interested in hosting the Olympics anymore because of the conditions that the International Olympic Committee sets.