According to the study, published in The Cryosphere, a journal of the European Geosciences Union, the Alps could lose as much as 70 per cent of their snow cover by 2099 as temperatures rise due to increased greenhouse gas emissions. The ski season may also start up to a month later and finish up to three months earlier, and the snow line may be up to 1000 m higher, it adds. On a more positive note, it says if emissions continue to be cut the amount of snow lost could drop to 30 per cent.
The worst-case scenarios show almost no snow below 1200 m by the end of the century. Many alpine resorts have lower base villages and slopes than this. Many also have higher slopes, but if global warming doesn’t slow down, Alpine slopes reaching up to 3000 m or more could have 50 per cent less snow by the end of the century. The study points out the dramatic effect this would have on Alpine villages, where up to 90 per cent of the economy depends on winter tourism.
Written by Cat Weakley – click here for the full content
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