Climate and winter sports: 2018 warmest year in the measurement history


Door meteomorris op 24 december 2018 · 8

Weather record after weather record is broken. The climate is changing and it is not certain what the consequences are for winter sports. I started a search for the climate, the consequences for winter sports and the things I can possibly do myself. This winter I wrote earlier this article and I had an interview with Jeremy Jones of POW about his vision on climate and winter sports.. All this with the following in mind.

What if there is no less snow falling? If the winters are so short that tree runs will become a thing of the past? That the snow cover above the tree line becomes too thin to be able to ride safely? If ski areas will become more dependent on artificial snow than is already the case today? Is that a worst case scenario? And if so, for whom? At wePowder we have avoided the climate discussion for years. With the motto: 'we are freeriders, we do no harm', we've kept ourselves silent for years. We love the outdoors, but do no harm? That's a little naive of course. My guess is that global warming is a realistic scenario and that we can do something about it! Better safe than sorry!

Engelberg, 23rd of December 2018
Engelberg, 23rd of December 2018

2018 warmest year in the measurement history of the Alps

This week the weather services of France, Austria and Switzerland had a look at 2018. Never before has it been so warm in the measurement history that began in Switzerland in 1864, in France in 1900 and in Austria in 1768.

The graph above shows the development of the temperature in Austria since 1767. Since 1980 there has been a rapid warming. If the days after Christmas do not get too cold, a new record is set this year with a maximum that may even be 2,7 degrees celcius higher than the average recorded since the start of the measurements. Even if we compare 2018 with the long-term average recorded between 1980 and 2010, this year with 1.8 degrees in the plus is still very warm. Source

There is also a staggering warming in Switzerland. The average temperature of 6.9 degrees celcius in 2018 is no less than 3.1 degrees above the long-yearly average recorded at the beginning of the measurements. Even compared to the average between 1988 and 2017, 2018 is very warm. No less than 1.2 degrees warmer than average since 1988. Source

2018 is a record year in France as well. It is no less than 1.4 degrees warmer than the average recorded since the 1900 measurements. Source

Less and less days with snow

Due to the warming, the number of days in which the ground is covered with snow has continued to decrease. A research from Switzerland shows that an increasingly large part of Switzerland remains virtually free from snow.

The warming in the high mountains now has two faces. On the one hand we see that the temperature in the mountains rises considerably in the spring, summer and autumn and even rises faster than in the lower parts of Switzerland. On the other hand, warming during the winter is (still) limited. The map below clearly shows that the snow (still) slows down the rise of the temperature during the winter in the higher parts of the Alps, but that especially in the valleys and overall during all seasons it has become considerably warmer in the winter. It is therefore not surprising that first and foremost an ever larger part of Switzerland remains free of snow. Source

The question is what will happen if the duration of the snow cover in the high alpine is also shortened by the warming. Will we then see an acceleration of the warming of the high alpine in winter?

Reacties


  • juancarlosdominguezlemoine
    Beginner
    juancarlosdominguezlemoine op 26 december 2018 · 11:08
    For now the only solution is to move the ski resorts up the mountain. Base at 2300 Mts. top at 4000 Mts. There is no enough political (nor public) will to tackle climate change. The people will not be happy if taxes are increased to finance green energy sources. Just look at France, which ironically has one of the best and most beautiful regions in the Alps.
    bericht aangepast door juancarlosdominguezlemoine op 26 dec 2018 11:08 (1% bewerkt)
  • Wadam
    Advanced
    Wadam op 27 december 2018 · 10:11
    For now the only solution is to move the ski resorts up the mountain. Base at 2300 Mts. top at 4000 Mts. There is no enough political (nor public) will to tackle climate change. The people will not be happy if taxes are increased to finance green energy sources. Just look at France, which ironically has one of the best and most beautiful regions in the Alps. juancarlosdominguezlemoine op 26 Dec 2018 11:08

    This isn't a solution to the climate issues we are facing.. this is only a solution for us to be able to keep on skiing in the way we do now.
    and for me this is one of the bigger problems, we want to stop damaging the planet yet we do not want to make any drastic changes to our lifestyles.
    For me it isn't a question of the fuel we use, it's our level of consumption which is damaging - if everyone who currently drives a diesel or petrol car switches to an electric car tomorrow would that be a positive step?

    Equally, the Gilet Jaune movement in France isn't just because of a hike in taxes on fuel - this is what the media painted it as.
    I believe it is a movement against the globalist, capitalist society which we have no choice but to live in. It is almost impossible to escape this system even if you want to.
    And lastly, I think that our system of constant economic growth is the real culprit, and until that gets changed I don't believe we can achieve any climate goals or make any meaningful change.
    In this system profit comes before ANYTHING. How can we be less damaging when the trees have dollar signs all over?


    Rant over.
    Going skiing.
    www.pfdskis.com
  • Wadam
    Advanced
    Wadam op 27 december 2018 · 10:11
    For now the only solution is to move the ski resorts up the mountain. Base at 2300 Mts. top at 4000 Mts. There is no enough political (nor public) will to tackle climate change. The people will not be happy if taxes are increased to finance green energy sources. Just look at France, which ironically has one of the best and most beautiful regions in the Alps. juancarlosdominguezlemoine op 26 Dec 2018 11:08

    This isn't a solution to the climate issues we are facing.. this is only a solution for us to be able to keep on skiing in the way we do now.
    and for me this is one of the bigger problems, we want to stop damaging the planet yet we do not want to make any drastic changes to our lifestyles.
    For me it isn't a question of the fuel we use, it's our level of consumption which is damaging - if everyone who currently drives a diesel or petrol car switches to an electric car tomorrow would that be a positive step?

    Equally, the Gilet Jaune movement in France isn't just because of a hike in taxes on fuel - this is what the media painted it as.
    I believe it is a movement against the globalist, capitalist society which we have no choice but to live in. It is almost impossible to escape this system even if you want to.
    And lastly, I think that our system of constant economic growth is the real culprit, and until that gets changed I don't believe we can achieve any climate goals or make any meaningful change.
    In this system profit comes before ANYTHING. How can we be less damaging when the trees have dollar signs all over?


    Rant over.
    Going skiing.
    www.pfdskis.com
  • funrise2000
    funrise2000 op 27 december 2018 · 12:41
    Thanks Wadam, you speak from my Soul! Just people which are not ready to step back will still deny…
    For the beginning lets avoid the worst thing! Fly & Ski!
  • juancarlosdominguezlemoine
    Beginner
    juancarlosdominguezlemoine op 27 december 2018 · 13:04
    For now the only solution is to move the ski resorts up the mountain. Base at 2300 Mts. top at 4000 Mts. There is no enough political (nor public) will to tackle climate change. The people will not be happy if taxes are increased to finance green energy sources. Just look at France, which ironically has one of the best and most beautiful regions in the Alps. juancarlosdominguezlemoine op 26 Dec 2018 11:08

    This isn't a solution to the climate issues we are facing.. this is only a solution for us to be able to keep on skiing in the way we do now.
    and for me this is one of the bigger problems, we want to stop damaging the planet yet we do not want to make any drastic changes to our lifestyles.
    For me it isn't a question of the fuel we use, it's our level of consumption which is damaging - if everyone who currently drives a diesel or petrol car switches to an electric car tomorrow would that be a positive step?

    Equally, the Gilet Jaune movement in France isn't just because of a hike in taxes on fuel - this is what the media painted it as.
    I believe it is a movement against the globalist, capitalist society which we have no choice but to live in. It is almost impossible to escape this system even if you want to.
    And lastly, I think that our system of constant economic growth is the real culprit, and until that gets changed I don't believe we can achieve any climate goals or make any meaningful change.
    In this system profit comes before ANYTHING. How can we be less damaging when the trees have dollar signs all over?


    Rant over.
    Going skiing.
    Wadam op 27 Dec 2018 10:11


    My opinion, electric cars would help to make the air quality better. Also capturing Co2 is potentially easier when done at the powerplants rather than at the exhausts of millions cars. France and Switzerland have relatively low Co2 per KWh produced (when compared to the average country ), and why would economic growth be the culprit? Economic Growth is good and healthy, we all live better than generations ago, we all live better than people in Cuba, Venezuela or North Korea. Switzerland and France are a beautiful example of countries with wealth comparable to the US but emitting only a fraction of the Co2 of the US. Just to make a point that a country can be wealthy and at the same time energy efficient. But on the wider global scale no country wants to pay a bit extra to improve at the moment. So for me the short term/ medium term solution is to move up the lifts.
  • funrise2000
    funrise2000 op 27 december 2018 · 13:21
    or a better option: stop the lifts!
  • funrise2000
    funrise2000 op 27 december 2018 · 13:31
    moving up the lifts? the northern parts of the Alpes are just not high enough. But this regions get usually a lot of precipitation. in the northern Alpes the potential of usable mountains is exhausted. In the inner Alpes which get less precipitation is still open potential. But there you Need especially in the early winter time (main season) a lot of artifical snow.

    First: moving up the Lifts and then making artifical snow??!!! what an idea! we can see that already in the glacier ski resorts in Austria!
    I do agree with Wadam!!!

    Stop: fly&ski
  • Wadam
    Advanced
    Wadam op 28 december 2018 · 13:04
    Juan Carlos,
    I agree with you on the air pollution point with electric cars. But that is only a small part of the problem and is only really even problem in cities.. where most people could do without a car, let alone 3 per family.
    I like to ski, so I choose to live in the mountains so I can pursue this - we don't have the same issue with air pollution or traffic.. so I don't feel guilty about using a vehicle. However when I returned to the UK to visit family I felt bad using the roads they were so busy and the air thick with fumes.
    It is this city way of life which does the most damage to people and the environment.

    With regards to the economy, the nature of this system means that any shrinkage is a disaster. When you say economic growth is good, where is the cut off point? It's a monster that we are feeding, it's obligatory that we consume more each year otherwise failure... For me this is not a logical system, especially when it is based on finite resources.
    And the climate conversation from POW and other groups does nothing to address this fundamental point - constant growth: not sustainable.

    Develop, develop and kill what you find if it threatens you.

    Peace.
    bericht aangepast door Wadam op 28 dec 2018 13:07 (16% bewerkt)
    www.pfdskis.com

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