>What’s wrong is that it was taken today, in the middle of February, and there is almost no snow. The last several days have been mild and sunny, really beautiful days for hikes or sipping coffees in the sun, but not so grand for Austria’s ski slopes, an industry which makes up about 25% of the economy.
From The Guardian: Global warming is the spectre stalking the industry. A study by Zurich university geographers forecast that within a generation up to 70% of the Swiss glaciers will have disappeared. The impact will be even more severe elsewhere where the Alps are not so high. “Many mountain villages in central and eastern parts of Austria will lose their winter tourist industry because of climate change,” the geographers predicted. “In Italy, half of the winter sport villages are below 1,300 metres. In future there will only be a few winters with snow in these resorts.” This gloomy prognosis means, according to industry analysts, that the future of skiing in the Alps will belong to relatively few but huge and high resorts.
Veronika Oleksyn, for the Associated Press, wrote in October: “We have to do something … we’re in the midst of climate change,” said Eric Veulliet, head of the alpS-Centre for Natural Hazard Management GmbH, which is organizing the conference along with the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Academy of Sciences. He said officials in the Alps — and in other mountain communities around the world — must recognize climate change, take action and come up with strategies for adapting to the future. “It is too late for prevention,” Veulliet said Monday at an opening news conference. Securing a sustainable future for the Alps is of particular interest to countries such as Austria that have much to lose if winter sports enthusiasts take their business elsewhere because of snow-free slopes. Christian Schoenwiese, a professor at the University of Frankfurt’s Institute for Atmospherics and the Environment, predicted that, in years to come, the Alps would likely see either colder winters with less precipitation or warmer winters with more rain instead of snow.
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