29 Nov '11, 9am

Ski resorts are developing some innovative new ways to keep people outdoors despite warming winters

Ski resorts are developing some innovative new ways to keep people outdoors despite warming winters

Every year, one million skiers take to the slopes from the UK alone, while a staggering five million Brits consider themselves to be skiers even if they don’t actually make it to the mountains. Europe is home to thousands of ski resorts, with Austria, France, Switzerland and Italy among the most popular. The Alps alone has more than 600 resorts with more than 10,000 pipes, half pipes and ski lifts catering for 85 per cent of the UK’s skiers. But what impact does the annual influx of tourists have on mountainous regions’ delicate eco-systems? And what effect is climate change having on the ski business itself? Alpine regions are particularly sensitive to climate change. The Alps, for example, has been warming at three times the global average rate. Yet skiing, unlike other types of tourism, is 100 per cent dependent on temperature, weather and climate. ‘Temperate weather is...

Full article: http://www.theecologist.org/green_green_living/out_and_ab...

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