Climate change is rocking the downhill ski industry in the USA to the tune of $170 million each year, that according to a recently published study by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Protect Our Winters.
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The study says that due to a shortened average season as well as shallower than average snowpacks, ski areas will continue to lose money with some hurting worse than others to due meteorological positioning.
“The downhill ski resort industry is estimated to have lost $1.07 billion in aggregated revenue between low and high snow fall years over the last decade (November 1999 – April 2010).” – NRDC
Some of these climate change susceptible ski areas have already seen huge downturns in skier visit numbers. On bad years, Washington and Oregon have seen decreases by up to 31% of their average while other, more climate resilient regions like Colorado saw a decrease of 7.7%. Those low snow years will only get worse as current climate projections have snowpacks across the west decreasing anywhere from 25-100% by the end of the century.
The piece goes on to explain how resorts positioned at higher altitudes will be some of the few in the country to generate consistent profits by the year 2100. All in all, the 12.2 billion dollar industry is in immediate peril and if we don’t act soon to curb carbon emissions, snow-business might soon not be profitable– let alone sustainable.
Find the entire study here: Climate Impacts on the Winter Tourism Economy in the United States