Despite this year’s epic ski season and our recent blog post, records from the last five decades clearly indicate that every year spring snow disappears earlier and earlier. It is possible that by 2100 two-thirds of European ski resorts could become defunct, and a similar fate might await those in the US.
To celebrate the world’s largest environmental movement, this Earth Day we want to remind readers that there is still time to protect our winters - but we must act now.
Cold hard facts
In 2017, the Fourth National Climate Assessment showed an increase in temperature across 95 percent of the country, with some of the coldest places warming up the most. The starkest difference can be observed in winter in the northern regions. Minnesota, for example, used to regularly get hit by negative 40, but these days the temperature rarely drops lower than 30 below.
Global warming has a knock off effect on the globe’s ice cover, especially at the Earth’s poles and glaciers. (In Montana's Glacier National Park the number of glaciers has declined to fewer than 30 from more than 150 in 1910!)
Increasing temperature has a multitude of negative effects: rising seawater levels, disturbed vegetation, and more and more species at risk of extinction. The scene with walruses jumping to their death as seen in the recent Netflix documentary Our Planet is a heartbreaking testimony to the effects of global warming.
Ski industry at risk
As the percentage of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rises, the Earth heats up. Warmer temperatures have a disastrous impact on the ski industry across the globe and the outdoor sports community decided to take action.
Protect Our Winters (POW, a pun on what off-piste skiers love the most, “pow” is short for fresh snow powder) is a non-profit organization founded by professional snowboard freerider Jeremy Jones. Early supporters were fellow pro athletes and other key players in the snow sports industry, and in just over a decade, POW has grown to become an international movement mobilizing a community around the globe.
What can be done
We can all combat global warming in our everyday lives through lowering our household energy usage.
Or, we can put our dollars to work.