The Impact of Climate Change
Global warming is one of the most profound environmental threats of our time. From the shrinking snowpack to mid-winter rainstorms, the impacts of climate change require immediate action. Below are just a few examples of how global warming is negatively affecting our mountains and their snow:
Temperatures are projected to increase by 2 and 11 degrees Fahrenheit worldwide by the end of the 21st Century. To put this in perspective, an 8-degree increase would make Lake Tahoe as warm as Los Angeles and Aspen as warm as Denver.
Expected loss in the Colorado River Basin is predicted to be 24% by 2040. This means conditions like we saw at Cypress Mountain for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics — athletes landing in puddles and competing on imported snow — could become the norm for your favorite lower elevation ski area.
Snowpacks in many parts of the West are melting 10 to 30 days earlier now than they were in 1950. It will not be long before you will have to say goodbye to hitting the slopes Easter-weekend.
2. Christensen and others, “Effects on the Colorado River Basin.
3. I. T. Stewart, D. R. Cayan, and M. D. Dettinger, “Changes in Snowmelt Runoff Timing in Western North America Under a ‘Business as Usual’ Climate Change Scenario,” Climatic Change 62 (2004): 217-232.