Report: Ski areas could be snowless by end of century

A study released on Monday analyzes the potential effects of climate change on ski areas.  The predictions do not look good for skiers, who are a group that will see the effects of climate change up close.

The study, which was presented to the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco, looks at Aspen, CO and Park City, UT, in particular.  The results are pretty grim.  The study surmises that winter snowpack in Aspen will be 2,400 vertical feet higher by the end of the century, while Park City could see a complete loss of snowpack in that time.

Of course, the migration of fauna and flora up the mountains to cooler climates has already begun.  Not surprisingly, the snowpack is moving along with the climate. 

The report warns that ski areas will be forced to rely much more on manmade snow, which requires heavy usage of water resources.  How ski areas acquire and manage that process will be key to their survival and the protection of the local environment.

Obviously, while a shortening, and possible loss, of the ski industry in America would be very unfortunate, it is more important to take this report as another warning sign that we’re dramatically impacting the world around us.  Yes, losing the ski industry would be terrible, but it is the other, possibly more unpredictable effects which could prove disastrous.

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