Climate change: lack of snow at ski resorts

Temperatures in the Alps are too warm this winter, and the skiing season is turning into a fiasco. Winter sports are only possible at very high altitudes, and at lower altitudes even the artificial snow is melting away, while in the low mountain ranges and foothills of the Alps there is no sign of snow. Commentators call for new concepts and ponder how the affected regions can respond to the changed conditions.

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Wiener Zeitung (AT) /

New concepts for warm times needed

Winter tourism faces the challenge of breaking new ground, says the Wiener Zeitung:

“With narrow bands of artificial snow winding their way down lush green slopes into the valleys, winter tourism is becoming grotesque. The tourism experts in the regions along the Alpine Arc will have to rethink their winter tourism concepts - this was already being said at the beginning of the Covid pandemic, but little has been done so far. ... Of course, snow may still be yet to come; the astronomical winter is long. But the trend - and this is what science has predicted - is towards much too warm, much too dry weather. ... Moreover, this is only the beginning. The trouble is that humanity won't get any further with climate alarmism.”

Libération (FR) /

Snow cannons are not the solution

What is needed now is climate-friendly travel concepts for mountain tourism, writes geographer Magali Reghezza-Zitt in Libération:

“Instead of fetishising the snow cannon, perhaps we could begin to think seriously about changes in our approach, about reconversion and relocation. ... Thousands of jobs depend on this. Nothing is pre-determined. Expert research on the design of tourist sites reminds us that this activity is constantly being reinvented. ... The changing climate means that we must stop opening new slopes and investing in infrastructure that will be abandoned in a few years' time. Financial support must be provided to areas that are tackling structural change.”

Aargauer Zeitung (CH) /

Incentive for climate-conscious action

The unusually warm temperatures could finally force humankind to rethink its behaviour, the Aargauer Zeitung hopes:

“As bad as the war in Ukraine is, and as all-encompassing as the Covid pandemic was, it is the climate crisis that will increasingly impress itself upon us in 2023 as one of the major problems of our time. ... Emissions that cause global warming continue to rise. Yet they were supposed to be halved by 2030 in order to achieve the much-lauded 1.5-degree target. There is hope, however: some researchers point to a tipping point that could set positive processes in motion: renewable energies are becoming cheaper, and people are increasingly questioning their behaviour. The record highs could serve as an additional incentive.”