In the run up to Ecology Ottawa’s event The Future of Snow and Skiing in a Warmer World here are a few reports we’ve come across.
Extract from The Future of the Winter Olympics in a Warmer World:
The confluence of the 22nd Olympic Winter Games and the 5th IPCC Assessment provides an important opportunity for reflection on the long-term implications of global climate change for the world of sport and the world’s collective cultural heritage symbolized by the Olympic Movement. Although the format and technologies supporting winter sports in the later decades of this century will be different from today, they will remain founded on snow and ice, as they have for the past 200 years. It is clear that the cultural legacy of the world’s celebration of winter sport is at risk if the warmer climate scenarios of the late-21st century are allowed to occur. Importantly, this future is not certain. We that enjoy winter sports of all kinds and support the Olympic Movement can influence this outcome in favor of the sustainability of the Olympic Winter Games.
Extract from Climate Change a Long-Term Strategic Issue for the NCC:
Ottawa’s climate is predicted to continue to become warmer and wetter under climate change, with more of the precipitation occurring as rain. Global climate models and climate change scenarios suggest that relative to the 1961–90 baseline period…winters are projected to become warmer. Mean winter temperatures are projected to increase between 2.0°C and 8.5°C in the 2050s, and between 3.6°C and 12.5°C in the 2080s.
As natural snowfall diminishes under climate change, the number of days when a natural 15-cm snow base is available in the National Capital Region will decrease. Based on a snow depth of 15 cm, the current average cross-country ski season is 94 days. The cross-country ski season is projected to be reduced to between 48 and 81 days in the 2020s. In the 2050s, the cross-country ski season is reduced by half under the least-change climate change scenario. Under the warmer climate change scenario, a 15-cm-based cross-country ski season is no longer feasible as early as the 2050s.
About the Alpine Club of Canada’s State of the Mountains Report:
In this report, twelve of Canada’s most well-known mountaineers and guides provide their observations and anecdotes about changes they have witnessed in the mountain environment. A select group of scientists then respond to the observations of those mountaineers.
Extract from On Thin Ice – Winter Sports and Climate Change:
Warmer winter temperatures mean rising snow lines, reduced snow cover, thinner lake ice, and shorter ice and snowfall seasons. Global warming directly threatens the length of the winter recreational season, the quality of the experience, and the variety of sports and activities available. And it’s already having an effect.
According to this research conducted for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Protect Our Winters (POW), climate change spells trouble for all businesses dependent on winter weather from snowmobiling, snowboarding, and ice fishing to snowshoeing and skiing…This study aims to help policy makers understand both the ski and snowmobile industry’s current economic scale as well as the potential economic impacts that climate change may cause.
Extract from Melting snow and ice – A call for action:
Snow cover changes may have numerous consequences for people and communities, inducing environmental hazards such as snow avalanches and affecting transport and infrastructure development and maintenance. In some countries, snow melt is crucial to hydropower production. Where snow cover is vital to tourism – mountain regions dependent on the ski industry, for example – the economy will be negatively impacted.