Popular ski resorts in the Alps have to deal with very little snow. Especially in the lower regions, the green meadows are still fully visible in many places. In France, half of the ski slopes are closed.
There is little snow to be seen in this winter sports area at the foot of the French Alps:
France’s winter sports region is not a snowy paradise, but green meadows
It was cold in mid-December, and the winter started well, explains reporter Frank Rinott at The Journal. Radio NOS 1 Magazine. “Since last week, temperatures have risen and it has been raining. The snow has disappeared in many areas and tourists cannot go up the mountain.” Ski slopes in Austria, Germany and Italy were also affected by the lack of snow.
This is not exceptional. As a result of climate change, ski resorts are on average getting warmer and low-lying areas have less and less snow. The winter sports season is also getting shorter and shorter.
One of the slopes is closed
According to French trade associations, one in every two slopes in the country is now closed. There are significant differences by country and even by region. “At higher altitudes, there is still more chance of snow. The temperature is lower there, but in the Pyrenees in particular, a lot is closed there,” Renot explains. “Once it snows and stays, everything can quickly open up again, and no one knows when that will happen,” he says.
The lack of snow means that many ski resort entrepreneurs are in trouble. Because the tourists stay away, they have no income and have to send the staff home.
Renaud: “Christmas holidays provide 25 percent of annual income in many areas. They are also important for France in general, because about 120,000 people have work in the ski areas.”
Artificial snow can be used, but this leads to much debate. “It’s a much-used option, but it costs a lot of water and energy. And that’s very sensitive right now,” says Renaut.
According to the researchers, artificial snow doesn’t work in the long run either, because it can’t be sprayed against a lack of snow. It will take a lot of artificial snow. “We just have to get used to less snow, a short winter, and especially high snow in the mountains,” say the specialists.
The coming days will be quiet
The weather will remain mild in the Alps for the coming days and the sun will be shining brightly in many places. The temperature will rise further in many places and the frost line will rise to higher areas. Here and there the temperature rises above 10 degrees. Local media write about spring-like weather in parts of France, Austria and Italy.
Winter weather will also be absent in the New Year for now.
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