The next victims of global warming are America’s skiers and snowboarders. Scientists say that climate change means the nation’s ski centers will eventually vanish, the New York Times reported today. After last winter’s record-breaking warmth, the long-term outlook for winter sporting is bleak.
Under certain warming scenarios, more than half of the 103 ski resorts in the Northeast will not be able to maintain a season length of 100 days by 2039, according to a study done at the Interdisciplinary Center on Climate Change at the University in Waterloo in Ontario. Park City, Utah, could lose all of its snowpack by 2039, and Aspen’s snowpack could be confined to the top quarter of the mountain. This means that only a fraction of the $10.7 billion ski and snowboarding industry may survive long-term.
But thanks to improvements in snowmaking technology, many resorts are managing to maintain profitability. New technology is extra efficient, allowing resorts to make snow with less energy and less money. It can also make more and drier snow at higher temperatures, allowing even small ski areas in New England to extend their seasons. But even continued advancements in snowmaking technology fail to address the bigger problem of the earth’s rising temperature.