Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Climate change may change skiing

Colorado College's State of the Rockies report this year suggests that global climate change will take a big bite out of the skiing industry in the next hundred years. It's sort of a no-brainer. We've watched Glacier National Park's namesake glaciers retreat. Colorado's few glaciers are just dirty snow patches. Skiing may be next.

A story in the Aspen Times stated, "If the predicted consequences for global warming are accurate, the bookends for skiing will move in, making the season shorter. Snowmaking will become more necessary and also more expensive. And there will be fewer powder days and more rain days, even in the Rocky Mountains."

Of course there is no way to know how global climate change will effect the region. It may be slightly warmer, but much wetter or drier. Everyone agrees, at least, that we won't see the end of skiing in the state in our lifetimes.

The case is more dire in the Alps, where a recent report predicted that only 44 percent of Europe's ski areas would be viable in a warming climate.

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