Climate change has already closed the world's highest ski area in the world -- Bolivia's Chacaltaya glacier. But it's also playing havoc with snowfall and skiing in Australia. At the 10th International Congress of Ecology in Brisbane, new research presented shows that the average snow cover at Spencers Creek, in the Snowy Mountains, has declined 30-40% in the past 50 years and climate change is to blame:Though Catherine Pickering of Griffith University, presented that stat as being a threat to the ski industry -- Pickering is an associate professor in Griffith's International Centre for Ecotourism Research -- the greater threat is really to plant life in Australia's Snowy Mountains. While skiers may be able to go elsewhere in search of snow, plant's aren't as quickly adaptable.
Two of Australia's Rarest Plant Communities at Risk
We are about to lose two of our rarest plant communities, right before our eyes. Some of these plants are found only on the lee side of mountain ranges, where snow lies late into the summer months, long after snow in the surrounding landscape has melted.
We need to coordinate the ad hoc research that is happening on our limited snow country.
More: 10th International Congress of Ecology
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