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Climate change and Tokyo Olympics: Extreme heat could pose health risk for athletes, report says

The report, revealed Wednesday by the British Association for Sustainable Sport, particulars the considerations of main athletes and scientists concerning the health impacts of hovering temperatures in Japan.

According to the report, the typical annual temperature in Tokyo “has elevated by 2.86 levels Celsius since 1900, greater than thrice as quick because the world’s common.”

The Olympics are as a result of run from July 23 to August 8 — a time when Japan normally experiences its highest annual temperatures, that are hovering even larger within the warming local weather.

“I believe we’re actually approaching a danger-zone,” Great Britain rower and Olympic hopeful Melissa Wilson advised the research’s authors. “It’s a horrible second while you see athletes cross the road, their our bodies fling again in complete exhaustion, and then not stand up.”

Some occasions on the upcoming Summer Games have already been moved away from Tokyo amid heat considerations, together with the marathon, which can take place nearly 500 miles north of the Japan capital in Sapporo the place temperatures are anticipated to be a lot cooler.
Runners compete in a half-marathon in Sapporo on May 5 -- a test event ahead of this year's Olympics.

The research particulars how occasions such because the triathlon, the marathon, tennis and rowing could be adversely impacted by scorching situations.

It additionally supplies recommendation to athletes on how to deal with competing within the heat, in addition to warning how the local weather disaster could derail sporting occasions sooner or later.

“Olympic organisers should take the warnings on this report critically or face an actual risk of opponents collapsing by means of heat exhaustion,” mentioned Mike Tipton, professor of human and utilized physiology on the Extreme Environments Laboratory, School of Sport, Health & Exercise Science on the UK’s University of Portsmouth.

“In a sporting context, a scorching and/or humid atmosphere can characterize a risk to the efficiency and health of spectators, officers and athletes. From sunburn, by means of cognitive impairment, to heat exhaustion or collapse from heat stroke, all sides of a sporting occasion — and all these concerned — might be adversely affected.”

The International Olympic Committee didn’t instantly reply to CNN’s request for remark relating to the report.

But organizers have beforehand revealed an overview of plans to attenuate the risk of heat on all members on the Tokyo Olympics.

This contains getting ready venues in order that people stay as cool and hydrated as potential, offering climate forecasts, and supplying info on the right way to mitigate heat dangers and deal with any ensuing signs.

In latest years, Japan has seen record-breaking temperatures during the summer months as heat waves have grow to be more and more commonplace. The heat wave of 2018 resulted in additional than 1,000 deaths, according to the Japanese authorities.
Demonstrators stage a protest against the Tokyo Olympics in the Japanese city of Kameoka on May 25.

“While the typical excessive temperature in Tokyo in the course of the Olympics (late July to early August) is 30-31 C (86-88 F), they often expertise excessive temperatures within the mid 30s (mid 90s F) and lately have even approached 40 C (104 F),” mentioned CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward.

“Combining this heat with very excessive humidity has led to a number of lethal summer season heat waves throughout Japan lately. These situations will little question put excessive pressure on athletes in outside venues in the course of the Olympics,” Ward mentioned.

“These latest summer season heat waves which have impacted many areas throughout East Asia (and the globe) might be attributed, partially, to local weather change and world warming. As our planet warms as a result of growing greenhouse gasoline emissions, our local weather is altering in some ways. One of these methods is elevated heat waves — longer length, extra intense, and higher frequency. Recent scientific studies have attributed extra excessive heat waves in Japan to local weather change, and notes that they’re turning into more and more seemingly because the planet warms.”
When Tokyo final hosted the Olympics in 1964, it did so within the cooler month of October. But broadcasting calls for now stipulate that the Games are held in July or August, in accordance with Reuters — a extra favorable slot for TV networks.
The cauldron is lit during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics on October 10, 1964.

It’s not simply the Olympics that has to take searing temperatures into consideration.

At the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, marathon runners toiled in 32-degree heat and humidity ranges above 70%, even after start times were moved to midnight. In the ladies’s occasion, 28 of the 68 runners who began failed to complete and some needed to be stretchered off the course.
At tennis’ Australian Open, in the meantime, latest temperatures have been known to exceed 40 degrees Celsius, inflicting gamers to faint on the court docket.
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