For some, it may come as no surprise. A new study from the American Geophysical Union shows that without any further climate change mitigation, summertime in the northern hemisphere could last up to six months by 2100.
By analyzing climate data from 1952 to 2011, the research team observed that on average, summer grew from 78 to 95 days, winter shrank from 76 to 73 days, and spring and fall respectively shrank from 124 to 115 and 87 to 82 days. By extrapolating this data, the scientists predict that by 2100, if no new climate migration changes are put in place, winter could average under two months a year.
The effects of such dramatic change are extensive, ranging from how plants and animals rely on the four seasons to more severe and intense weather events, large climate migration of people, and significant effects on agriculture. The list could go on and on. And of course, here at SnowBrains, we care about how it would affect skiing.
Skiing in 2100?
Obviously, there will be much bigger things to worry about other than skiing if we see such a large shift in our climate. However, it is still interesting to think about how it would be affected, and it doesn’t take a scientist to realize how devastating this would be to ski resorts across the northern hemisphere.
For most resorts, the ski season would be completely ruined, making most places go out of business. For the few that may have a chance at surviving, they would have to be located much further north (i.e., northern Canada, Alaska, Scandinavia, Greenland, etc.) than where most people currently ski. Even if you could ski up there, the seasons may be dire and very limited in length. Intense snowmaking, and a season that may only last one or two months, maybe no season at all some years, is a genuine possibility.
- Related: The World’s Highest Elevation Ski Resort = Chacaltaya, Bolivia @ 17,785-Feet \ Closed Due to “Unprecedented” Glacial Retreat
It may seem hopeless, but the key to this new study is that this will happen without further climate change mitigation. If we as a species work together in continuing our rapid shift towards protecting our planet and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, there is still a chance we can turn things around. And of course, as a little bonus, we can keep skiing.