Monday, October 29, 2007

Resurrection of Austria's doomed ski resorts

Figure 1: Schladming, Austria (see 1 week ago)

Last year, we would be reading dozens of articles arguing that ski resorts in the Alps are doomed because of climate change. For example, The New York Times wrote in December 2006:
This season is certainly shaping up as a nonclassic, but it may be a milestone of another kind. The record warmth — in some places autumn temperatures were three degrees Celsius above average — has brought home the profound threat of climate change to Europe’s ski industry.

If venturing outdoors without a jacket is not enough evidence, there are two new studies — one that says the Alps are the warmest they have been in 1,250 years and another that predicts that an increase of a few more degrees would leave most Alpine resorts with too little snow to survive.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which sponsored the second study, stopped short of predicting ruin for Europe’s ski industry. But Bruno Abegg, a researcher at the University of Zurich who was involved in it, said low-lying resorts faced an insuperable problem. "Let’s put it this way,” he said. “I wouldn’t invest in Kitzbühel."
Well, the warming comrade has missed a pretty good investment: see this fresh snow video from Kitzbühel. Snow has returned to the doomed ski resorts. They opened one month earlier than planned. Some slopes already hold more than one meter of snow.

Where does this miraculous change come from? It is called the weather. Although it may sound incredible, sometimes it is warm and sometimes it is cold.

And that's the memo.

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