Unchecked Climate Change Would Make Ski Resort Operations Unsustainable
A study by a group of scientists in Colorado has sought to look at the financial impact on ski resort operations climate change might bring.
The group, who say they looked at 300 years’ worth of climate modelling data, focussed on how the ski season in North America might look in 70 years’ time at the of rate climate change today. The group also looked at the impact if the International Panel on Climate Change in 2014 have reached its targets.
Their study is called: “Projected climate change impacts on skiing and snowmobiling: A case study of the United States.”
Essentially both models see the world warming at similar rates up to 2040, but then temperatures rising more rapidly up to 2090 if targets are not hit over the next few years, or improving if targets are hit.
The study found that hitting the International Panel on Climate Change’s target meant the vision for snowsports by the end of this century need not be catastrophic. It projected a shorter season for most resorts but not a disastrously shorter one and even envisaged skier numbers potentially rising in line with population growth, meaning more crowded slopes but viable operations with a potential increase in annual revenue of over $120 million at current rates.
The ‘do nothing’ results were shown to be fairly catastrophic for the ski industry. Markedly shorter seasons due to warmer temperatures were seen as meaning investment required to sustain ski area operations would not be met by reduced income from ticket sales as fewer people could ski and the widespread closure of resorts across North America at a multi-billion dollar loss.
“It’s important that the study points out that this is still a choice, in the sense that we can determine our future based on how aggressively we as a society choose to cut emissions,” said leading climate change spokesperson in the ski industry, Auden Schendler from Aspen ski resort.
Patrick Thorne, also known as the Snow Hunter, is an industry expert in all technical developments in snow sports. In addition to his work Patrick is also father and knows the importance and fun of kids on snow.www.thesnowhunter.com
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