Climate change brings uncertainty to ski resort snowfall

A recent study indicates the declining snowfall at ski resorts, an issue linked to the progressing climate crisis, foretells a challenging future for winter sports.

Oliver Milman reports for The Guardian.


In short:

  • The U.S. ski industry has suffered more than $5 billion in losses over two decades due to reduced snowfall from global warming.
  • Warmer winters have led to a significant reduction in the ski season, impacting revenue and elevating the cost of artificial snow production.
  • Ski seasons may shorten by up to 33 days by the 2050s, contingent on global actions toward emission reductions.

Key quote:

"We are probably past the era of peak ski seasons. Climate change is an evolving business reality for the ski industry and the tourism sector.”

— Daniel Scott, scientist at the University of Waterloo

Why this matters:

The reduction of snowfall due to climate change threatens the recreational industry but also foreshadows broader environmental impacts, such as water scarcity from diminished snowpacks feeding rivers and streams. People are flocking to see melting glaciers before they're gone—bringing both benefit and harm.

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