Whether this winter turns out to be warm or cold, scientists say that climate change means the long-term outlook for skiers everywhere is bleak. The threat of global warming hangs over almost every resort, from Sugarloaf in Maine to Squaw Valley in California. As temperatures rise, analysts predict that scores of the nation’s ski centers, especially those at lower elevations and latitudes, will eventually vanish.
Under certain warming forecasts, more than half of the 103 ski resorts in the Northeast will not be able to maintain a 100-day season by 2039, according to a study to be published next year by Daniel Scott, director of the Interdisciplinary Center on Climate Change at the University of Waterloo in Ontario.
By then, no ski area in Connecticut or Massachusetts is likely to be economically viable, Mr. Scott said. Only 7 of 18 resorts in New Hampshire and 8 of 14 in Maine will be. New York’s 36 ski areas, most of them in the western part of the state, will have shrunk to 9. ...
The most basic strategy for coping with a lack of snow is to make it, and as of the 2009-10 season, 88 percent of resorts belonging to the National Ski Areas Association were doing so. Improvements in snow-making technology have helped resorts compensate for warming trends, and several have invested millions in new energy-efficient tower guns.
I hesitated to post this since we were scooped by Kahn, who points out:
- the lack of skiing opportunities is not a huge concern on the demand side of the market as there are a number of alternative activities in the choice set
- snow making is an important adaptation strategy