How climate change devastates winter sports

Vermont's Stowe Reporter reports on how climate change is impacting New England's winter sporting business:

Since 1970, the average daily temperature across the state from December through March has gone up by more than 4 degrees Fahrenheit. Small lakes and ponds don’t stay frozen as long as they did then, reducing the outdoor skating and ice fishing seasons by almost a month. The snow that falls is heavier, wetter. And melt-offs, like the one that occurred last week, are more frequent.

Out West, a recent report from Colorado Ski Country USA shows how much Colorado's $3 billion a year industry is feeling the pain:

Cumulatively for the 22 ski areas represented by Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) — which do not include Vail Resorts properties — this season’s 11.5 percent dip in opening-day-to-New-Year’s-Eve skier visits follows a 10.65 percent decline for the same period last season.

5280, the Denver Magazine, says hoping for more snow is not the solution:

Even if we do get a few blizzards, so what? When was the last time Colorado experienced two or three great ski seasons in a row? Citizens and politicians alike have expended all kinds of angst and energy on trying to resolve America's long-term debt problems, vague and unpredictable as they may be, bandying about grave terms like "fiscal cliff." But climate change is happening now. It's costing us money, and while there may be differing opinions about how to address it, anyone who questions its existence should not be taken seriously. If we don't begin to address this issue in a sensible but comprehensive way—and is it really that objectionable to suggest that we all pollute a little less?—it may not be long before anyone who wants to ski off a Colorado cliff will be doing so without any snow to cushion their fall.

Well said. How long will we - and Congress - spin the wheels of inaction?


Video: Powder Magazine shows skiers skiing new lines opened up by the 2012 summer forest fires. via Paul Kedrosky

Tags: Colorado | Economics | Global Climate Change | Vermont | video

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