Ski fields will have to rely more heavily on snowmaking, which will become expensive. Image: The Border Mail
Ski fields in Victoria, Australia could see the end of ski seasons in 30 years, according to a state report by SGS Economics and Planning. The biggest resorts of Mt. Hotham, Mt. Buller, and Falls Creek could have just 20 to 30 years of natural snowfall left due to a warmer and drier climate. Lower elevation resorts could have just 10 years of snowfall in their futures.
Average number of days of natural snow cover:
2000s 2020s 2050s 2070s
Mt. Hotham 98 (low elevations) 59-92 0-29 transient
129 (high elevations) 100-120 21-114
Falls Creek 105 68-99 2-59 transient
125 92-120 18-108
Mt. Buller 108 70-102 7-89 transient
Mt. Buller. Image: nevasport.com
By 2070, there could be no snow industry in Victoria. Resorts may try to become escapes from the summer heat. A similar report was released last year regarding resorts in New South Wales, specifically in the Kosciuszko area. Victorian ski fields provide close to 5,000 jobs and contribute $483 million to the economy. The loss of this industry would have significant impact on the region.
Perisher starting their season with snowmaking. Image: traveller.com.au
The new report has not been peer-reviewed, and the department states that it is difficult to predict the impact of climate change on the snow indusrty beyond 20 years. If nothing is done about climate change however, the worst-case scenario could become a reality.
Effects of climate change. Image: Environment Magazine