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Research has indicated that The Australian Alps are at risk of experiencing the biggest decrease in snowfall worldwide by the end of the 21st century.
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Research has indicated that The Australian Alps are at risk of experiencing the biggest decrease in snowfall worldwide by the end of the 21st century.

New research has revealed that due to global warming, there will be a 78% decrease in snow cover in the Australian Alps by the end of the century. This is significantly faster compared to reductions seen in six other major skiing areas.

A recent publication from the University of Bayreuth in Germany has warned about the increasingly severe impacts of the climate crisis. According to their research, under high emissions, approximately 13% of ski areas worldwide could face complete loss of natural snow cover in the future.

“In the upcoming century, continued climate change will result in a significant decrease in the number of days with snow cover in current ski regions around the world, regardless of emissions scenarios,” stated the study.

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In the future, it is likely that there will be a significant rise in ski areas that have no snow at all.

The research centered on seven prominent areas for skiing in mountainous regions, such as the European Alps, Andes, Appalachian Mountains, Australian Alps, Japanese Alps, Southern Alps, and Rocky Mountains. It examined the effects of three different climate change scenarios – “low,” “high,” and “very high” emissions – on each of these locations.

In all seven major mountain regions with downhill skiing, there will be a significant decrease in the number of annual snow cover days worldwide.

According to the study, ski areas in the southern hemisphere will face the greatest impact from climate change under a high emissions scenario.

Australia has experienced a significantly higher rate of decline, at 78%, compared to other major skiing regions. These regions include the European Alps, which have declined by 42%, the Japanese Alps at 50%, and the Southern Alps of New Zealand at 51%.

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According to the study, ski resorts in densely populated regions are expected to experience greater impact from global warming. This could lead to a decrease in snow coverage, resulting in reduced economic viability for ski resorts worldwide.

The research predicted that methods such as artificial snow production and management techniques may not be effective enough to mitigate a shortage of snow in the face of severe climate change, even though they are currently being widely utilized.

According to the study, ski resorts may need to relocate or expand into more remote, higher elevation mountain regions in order to counter the impacts of climate change.

“These results raise socio-economic and ecological concerns.”

These methods, including slope contouring, landscaping, and creating ski areas on north-facing and higher slopes, are viewed as potential harm to nature and the distinctive biodiversity found in mountainous regions.

According to the study, skiing and its impact on tourism play a significant role in the economies of local communities. However, mountainous regions are already experiencing negative effects on biodiversity due to global warming. The expansion of ski areas and an increase in skiers at higher elevations will further exacerbate this pressure on biodiversity.

Source: theguardian.com