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Impacts of climate change on sport

This scoping review sought to identify all the research that addresses the impacts of climate change on organized sport (as opposed to tourism and recreation) to understand how climate change is impacting sports, and how sport organizations are adapting. A total of 57 articles were retained which specifically address climate change's impacts on sport, though the authors note there are dozens of articles that address the issue in the context of physical activity and recreation. The authors' analysis found that extreme heat is the most studied climate impact on sports, particularly as it relates to athlete health and performance, and spectator comfort. Several adaptive measures are being taken in sport, with research demonstrating the efficacy of cooling towels, acclimatization, water breaks, extra shade, shorter exposure times, and better/new infrastructure for keeping the worst impacts of climate change at bay in outdoor sports. An interesting theme also emerged around the suitability of various cities and regions to host events, given their climates. A separate thread of research demonstrates the urgency of benchmarking acceptable conditions of play and monitoring changes in environmental conditions against the established benchmarks.


CITE: Orr, M., Inoue, Y., Seymour, R., & Dingle, G. (2022). Impact of climate change on organised sport: A scoping review. WIREs Climate Change, e670.

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