Artificial Snow Heightens Risks For Skiers

Via Flickr

Simone Garza | January 13, 2022

As climate change increases, athletes encounter safety concerns when skiing. With differences between Alpine and Nordic skiing, challenges arise from artificial snow. Artificial snow is used for outdoor winter sports due to limited snowfall.

With lessening snowfall, artificial snow that is used for racing tends to be more dangerous for athletes. The artificial snow is known to have an increase in moisture content. Skiers claim that man made snow can quickly turn into ice. The artificial snow also has increased the number of falls when racing. Interacting with the artificial snow makes skiers race faster than usual. 

The process of creating the man-made snow is done by water that is blown through nozzles in order to break down the water to small droplets which then freeze up. The larger density and water content of the artificial snow. 

With smaller amounts of natural snowfall, race courses have also shortened. Another factor to consider is the prediction of avalanches. Due to climate change, severity of dryness and heat accumulate wildfires that also trigger avalanche hazards. Climate change has also put a strain on traveling through uncontrolled terrain in growing a section during colder seasons with the decrease of natural snow.

Due to warmer climate, the prediction of shorter snowfall will likely double by the year of 2050. 

The International Ski Federation, keeps track of global reports of injuries such as snow boarding, ski jumping, Alpine skiing and freestyle skiing. The organization has declined to give information on reports made at this time.

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