Snow shortage threatens Alps with wet winter season – BBC News

Climate experts suggest we should not be surprised by this January weather. Global warming, they have long warned, will cause warmer, wetter winters. But as with the shrinking of the Alpine glaciers, the rate at which ski resorts become unviable seems to be accelerating.

Just a few years ago, Swiss resorts were warned that skiing below 1,000m was, over time, likely to become impossible as global temperatures rose. But this week, the resort of Splügen, at 1,500m considered “snow safe”, shut down until further notice.

In the long term, a new study by the University of Basel warns that higher resorts will have to rely increasingly on artificial snow to survive, raising their water consumption by up to 80%. This could cause conflict between the winter sports industry and local communities, whose energy comes from hydropower.

Snow shortage threatens Alps with wet winter season – BBC News