Lack of Snow in Japan Changes Olympic Cooling Plans
Japan has been collecting snow this winter to be used to help cool areas during this year's Summer Olympics in Tokyo. But lower-than-usual snowfall this year has forced officials to rethink the effort.
Some of the work has taken place in the mountain city of Minami-Uonuma, in Niigata prefecture north of Tokyo. Workers have been trying to collect and store snow to bring by train to areas where Olympic soccer and basketball events will be held.
The snow is supposed to be used to cool buildings. Organizers also plan to give out the snow to Olympic visitors as they arrive for events. Summer temperatures around Tokyo often rise to at least 40 degrees Celsius. Organizers are also planning to use misting machines and water stations to keep Olympic attendees cool.
The use of snow to cool structures is not knew in Japan and some other countries. In Norway, for example, the country's airport in Oslo uses snow collected and stored during the winter to cool buildings in the summer.
Usually, the mountains in Niigata receive some of the heaviest snow levels in Japan. But this year, snow amounts dropped sharply. They could end up being the lowest since recordkeeping began in 1981. The information on snow levels came from Japan's Meteorological Agency.
Mutsumi Seki is helping lead snow collection efforts at the Minami-Uonuma project. Seki told Reuters, "We had to change the snow-gathering site from last year to an area where we can expect more snow."
So far, the city has only collected 1,400 cubic meters of snow. That is lower than the 2,000 cubic meters it collected last year, when it tested the workability of the plan.
Snow depths in areas along the Sea of Japan fell by as much as 15 percent a decade in the years between 1962 and 2016. Those numbers come from a 2018 study by Japan's Ministry of Environment.
Michael Mann is a professor at Pennsylvania State University. He told Reuters that the climate changes in Japan are "part of a much larger pattern of unusual warmth around the entire Northern Hemisphere this winter." Mann added that he believes this pattern "is connected to human-caused planetary warming."
Masami Yashima runs a resort in the city of Nagano, which is next to Niigata. He also said he believes that global warming is causing the drop in snowfall. "There's very little snow. About a third of what we get here every year," he said. "It's very painful."
Officials in Japan's northern city of Sapporo are hoping to bring the 2030 Winter Olympics to that city. Sapporo hosted the Winter Olympics back in 1972.
This past December and January, very little snow fell in the area. Then, in early February, it finally arrived. A winter storm dropped about 34 centimeters of snow during a period of just six hours.
Local officials welcomed the snow. But they continue to watch the weather very closely, as they prepare for a possible Olympic award. One weather expert told The Associated Press he thinks the lack of snow – followed by the large amount falling in a short period – may also be a sign that the local climate is changing.
"We often have this kind of event," said Dr. Tomonori Sato, a professor at Hokkaido University. "However, the magnitude was abnormal. This is maybe because of warming temperatures."
I'm Bryan Lynn.
1.winter storm 冬季风暴
Our satellite shows a possible late winter storm moving towards us at the start of next week.
2.global warming 全球变暖
Rich industrialised countries have sown the seeds of global warming.
3.give out 分发
There were people at the entrance giving out leaflets.
4.lack of 缺乏
Stress and lack of sleep can aggravate the situation.
5.The lack of snow – followed by the large amount falling in a short period – may also be a sign that the local climate is changing.
large amounts of 大量的
It was profitable for them to produce large amounts of food.
Earthworms consume large amounts of soil, and produce a rich humus, perfect in texture.
6.The lack of snow – followed by the large amount falling in a short period – may also be a sign that the local climate is changing.
in a short period 在很短的时间内
She adapted to the new life in a short period.
I had made great progress in speaking English in a short period.
日本今年冬天一直在收集积雪，以便在今年东京夏季奥运会期间帮助一些地区降温 。但今年的降雪量低于往年，迫使政府重新考虑这一举措 。
其中一些工作是在东京北部新潟县的南鱼沼市开展的 。工作人员一直在努力收集和储存积雪，以便用火车将雪运往举行奥运会足球和篮球比赛的地区 。
积雪可以用来给建筑物降温 。组织者还计划在奥运游客到达赛场时发放积雪 。东京周围的夏季气温通常会上升到至少40摄氏度 。组织者还计划使用喷雾机和水站来为奥运场馆的观众降温 。
在日本和其他一些国家，人们不知道可以用积雪来冷却建筑物 。以挪威为例，该国奥斯陆的机场利用冬天收集和储存的雪在夏天为建筑物降温 。
通常，新潟县的山脉是日本降雪量最大的地区之一 。但是今年，降雪量急剧下降 。这可能是自1981年有记录以来的最低水平 。有关雪量的信息来自日本气象局 。
Mutsumi Seki正在协助领导南鱼沼市项目的积雪收集工作 。Seki告诉路透社记者，“我们不得不放弃去年的积雪收集地点，将目光转向那些可以期待更多降雪的地方 。”
到目前为止，该市只收集了1400立方米的雪量 。这低于去年该公司测试该计划可行性时收集的2000立方米 。
从1962年到2016年，日本海沿岸地区的积雪深度在十年间下降了15% 。这些数据来自日本环境部2018年的一项研究 。
迈克尔·曼恩（Michael Mann）是宾夕法尼亚州立大学的教授 。他告诉路透社，日本的气候变化是“今年冬天整个北半球异常变暖模式的一部分” 。曼恩补充说，他相信这种模式“与人类造成的地球变暖有关” 。
Masami Yashima在长野市经营一家度假村，长野市紧邻新潟县 。他还表示，他认为全球变暖导致降雪量下降 。“降雪量很少 。大约是我们每年降雪量的三分之一 。”他说道 。“这是非常令人心痛的 。”
日本北部城市札幌的官员希望在该市举办2030年冬奥会 。札幌在1972年曾举办过冬奥会 。
去年12月至今年1月，该地区降雪很少 。然后，在二月初，该地区终于迎来了降雪 。一场冬季暴风雪在短短6小时内带来了约34厘米的降雪 。
当地官员对降雪表示欢迎 。但他们继续密切关注天气，为可能获得的奥运奖牌做准备 。一位气象专家告诉美联社，他认为降雪少和短时间内大量降雪也可能是当地气候变化的一个迹象 。
北海道大学(Hokkaido University)教授佐藤友典(Tomonori Sato)博士表示，“我们经常会遇到这类情况 。”“然而，积雪（深度）出现反常 。这可能归咎于全球变暖 。”