Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Big Changes for Ski Areas

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Big Changes for Ski Areas

Article excerpt

Rocky Mountain ski areas face dramatic changes this century as the climate warms, including best-case scenarios of shortened ski seasons and higher snowlines and worst-case scenarios of bare base areas and winter rains, says a new Colorado study.

The study indicates snowlines--elevations below which seasonal snowpack will not develop--will continue to rise through this century, moving up more than 730 m from the base areas of Colorado's Aspen Mountain and Utah's Park City Mountain by 2100, says University of Colorado--Boulder (CU--Boulder) geography professor Mark Williams. Williams and Brian Lazar of Stratus Consulting in Boulder combined temperature and precipitation data for Aspen and Park City with general climate circulation models for the study.

The pair came up with three scenarios for each of the two ski havens for the years 2030, 2075, and 2100. The low-emissions scenario is based on the presumption that the world begins reducing C[O.sub.2] emissions, says Williams. The "business-as-usual" scenario assumes the future rate of C[O.sub.2] increase will be similar to the current rate, while the high-emissions scenario assumes future C[O. …

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