Alps: ski tourism in front of the ko?

Researchers predict dramatic loss of snow safety

Cable car Harald Frater
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In the coming decades, half of all ski resorts in the Alps will lose their snow reliability. This is the result of a study by economic geographers of the University of Zurich. Thus, due to global warming, the limit of snow safety could rise from the current 1, 200 meters to 1, 600 to 2, 000 meters over the next 30 to 50 years.

Even today, the zero-degree limit has risen by about 250 meters compared to the year 1900. In the 1970s, it was still possible to reach areas with good snow conditions from Munich in the course of an hour's drive. In the meantime, it is not unusual to drive three or four hours - to the high Alps.

The winter sports metropolises respond to the lack of snow by driving cable cars and lifts up to ever-increasing heights, and now again into glacier areas that for a long time were strictly protected retreat areas for animals and plants. Because according to surveys, almost half of the ski guests would change the traditional resort, if this could no longer offer snow safety, reports the new GEO Special on "The Great Mountains of the Earth".

The competition for paying winter sports guests is already tough today. Despite trend sports such as snowboarding and carving, the number of ski tourists has stagnated since the mid-1980s. Meanwhile, visionaries are already planning for the time after the snow: with wellness in the Zengarten, indoor ski halls and avant-garde architecture on the summits.

(ots, geo, 01.12.2004 - DLO) Display