Climate Change and the Skiing Industry | 15Rock Blog
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March 7, 2023
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Climate Change and the Skiing Industry | 15Rock Blog

Read our blog post on the impact of climate change on the skiing industry and how companies can mitigate these risks.


Climate change and its devastating effects can not be overstated enough. For a lot of people however, a lot of the projections seem like hypotheticals of the distant future. The skiing industry is one of those industries which has been in decline directly from the rise of temperatures and there the effects of climate change become obvious. Skiing is a huge billion-dollar industry, which employs hundreds of thousands of workers around the world and brings in tourist revenue to local communities where skiing is provided. However, due to the constant warming of our planet, skiing will most likely continue to be highly restricted and limited, both as a competitive sport and as a recreational activity. Transporting passengers and equipment to the designated resorts has also been made more difficult. Since the 1980s, western United states for example have seen a decrease of 41% in the amount of snow, causing the snow season to shrink and with it, the possible revenue which could have been generated. Climate change is causing an increase in snowpack melt. This on its hand is then leading to more flooding and landslides, which in turn is causing more closures and reduced access to ski areas. It is estimated that ski resorts in the western United States lose $1 billion to climate change alone. Another problem which might make skiing unattractive is the increased injury rates which are a direct consequence of the rising temperatures, even in those places where you can ski.

Photographer: JResnick215
Photo by Glade Optics / Unsplash

Recently, this same problem has been noted in Europe as well. In Meribel, France the skiing world championship has been at risk due to a lack of snow. It is reported than the weather is clear, sunny and snow has been occasional at best. Next week, it is forecasted that a warm front will cause even the racing surfaces crafted with artificial snow, to melt away. This has been a constant issue for the International Ski and Snowboard Federation. The women’s skiing race in Soelden was cancelled this season for this very reason. Zermatt-Cervinia races were also cancelled back in October. The sport of skiing has become ever more dependent on artificial snow. The Beijing Olympics last year used entirely artificial snow.

The skiing industry is just the beginning. Many other sports and industries will be risked by continuous temperature rise. Of course, there are far more devastating effects of climate change but in skiing we can already see, in a tangible way the consequences of climate change. Climate change will make it impossible to enjoy sports and activities which are important to our way of life. We should remember that a changing climate doesn’t simply threaten our survival. It will first appear as a threat to our way of life and those activities which give us joy. Let us use the latter as a warning sign and prevent things from getting worse than they already have.