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Researchers: Global Warming May Make Most Cities Too Warm For Winter Games

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Security personnel walk in the Olympic Park in the Coastal Cluster on Jan. 9, 2014 in Alder, Russia. (credit: Michael Heiman/Getty Images)

Security personnel walk in the Olympic Park in the Coastal Cluster on Jan. 9, 2014 in Alder, Russia. (credit: Michael Heiman/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) – Climate researchers have learned that global warming could threaten the potential for most cities to reasonably host the Winter Olympics in the future due to unfavorable weather conditions.

In fact, of the cities that have previously hosted the winter games, only six would still reliably be able to host the cold-weather Olympics by the end of this century, Phys.org is reporting.

Additionally, only 11 of the 19 total prior sites will likely be eligible to host the Winter Olympics within a matter of just several decades.

The study further asserted that, by the middle of the current century, Sochi, Russia – the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics – would no longer have a climate suitable for hosting the games.

“The cultural legacy of the world’s celebration of winter sport is increasingly at risk,” Professor Daniel Scott, a Canada Research Chair in Global Tourism and lead author of the study, was quoted as saying. “Fewer and fewer traditional winter sports regions will be able to host a [sic] Olympic Winter Games in a warmer world.”

Outside of the weather, the Sochi Olympics have been plagued with issues already as, due to safety concerns, some U.S. Olympians to tell their loved ones to stay home.

Members of U.S. Congress have also expressed serious concerns about the safety of Americans in Sochi and frustration with Russian cooperation. The U.S. State Department has advised Americans at the Olympics to stay vigilant about security because of not only potential terrorist threats but crime and uncertain medical care.

The study was a joint effort between climatologists and other researchers at the University of Waterloo in Canada and the Management Center Innsbruck in Australia.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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