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Snow covering Australian Alps will decline, research shows

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The research has shown that by the end of the century the snow cover in the Australian Alps will decline due to global heating.

The research study by Germany’s University of Bayreuth focused on seven major mountainous skiing regions, including the Australian Alps, European Alps, Andes, Appalachian Mountains, Japanese Alps, Southern Alps, and Rocky Mountains.

The study published today predicts that 13% of ski areas across the globe may lose all natural snow cover in a future with high emissions. Ski areas located in highly populated areas are predicted to be more affected by global warming.

The rate of decline ranks Australia as the highest of the major skiing regions assessed at 78%, followed by Southern Alps of New Zealand at 51%, Japanese Alps at 50% and European Alps at 42%.

Under a severe climate change scenario, technical and management strategies like artificial snow making will not be sufficient to measure the decline, the study anticipated.

“Snow resorts may need to move or expand into less populated mountain areas at higher elevations to combat the effects of climate change,” the study found.

“These findings are socioeconomically and ecologically concerning.”


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