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Global warming


Low-lying ski resorts fear climate change


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Despite heavy snowfall recently, the long-term future of low and mid-altitude ski resorts in Switzerland remains uncertain. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)

Swiss public television, RTS, reports there is now 30% less snow than 35 years ago in smaller resorts in lower-lying regions. This is a result of average temperatures rising by 1.5 degrees Celsius in Switzerland over the past century. 

Based on assessments made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a forecast has been provided on how the country’s climate is expected to change over the 21st century. By 2100, summer temperatures are expected to increase by 3.5 degrees Celsius and winter temperatures should increase by 3 degrees Celsius. 

Climate experts say people will be able to ski for many more years in Switzerland, but good winter conditions will be less and less common.

In the long run the situation may become critical for some small ski resorts, like La Dôle or Sainte-Croix/Les Rasses, in canton Vaud in western Switzerland. 

Beyond snow cannons, the future of the resorts can only be saved by providing a more varied range of tourist and sporting activities all year round.