What if in the future, skiing becomes an almost impossible mission? A new study estimates that there is concern to be made on this side. Global warming will gradually cause a reduction of one third of the snow cover of the Alps in general.
More ski resorts below 2,500 meters altitude? No problem, we will go to high mountain resorts! However, there is no doubt that if this happens, there will be far fewer resorts and the prices of packages, rentals, hotels, restaurants and the like will skyrocket. It is therefore necessary to look at the source of the problem a little more in depth.
The new study affirming such a change synonymous with disaster for winter sports enthusiasts was carried out by the Cryos Laboratory of the Federal Polytechnic School located in Lausanne (Switzerland). Published on February 16, 2017 in the journal The Cryosphere, the study seems very serious. This was based on the commitment made by the states during COP 21, which took place at the end of 2016 in Paris, to keep the rise in surface temperature below 2°C.
It turns out that even if this commitment is respected, the Alps will lose almost a third of their snow cover during the cold season. It is then possible to imagine the situation in the event that we were unable to maintain this commitment! However, a 30% loss of snow would already cause the disappearance of all ski resorts located below 2,500 meters in altitude. But that’s not all, since according to the researchers, “the season could start a month to a month and a half later”.
For scientists, the areas most affected by global warming are below 1,200 meters and the snow will only very rarely hold up to 2,100 meters. Furthermore, experts also believe that « if global warming is not limited to 2°C, the snow depth could drop by 40% even for altitudes above 3,000 m ».
The winter sports sector and the entire economy revolving around it will be strongly impacted, but there are other perverse effects. According to a survey by the Swiss daily Le Temps, the melting of glaciers weakens the mountains and is a source of risks for both people and biodiversity (fauna and flora) which will be harmed.
Sources: Le Dauphiné Libéré – Le Temps