Under a scenario where the planet warms by 2 degrees one third of Swiss ski domains would probably not receive sufficient snow to be viable, according to a report published on nature climate change, reported RTS.
Between 1961 to 1990, one in five winter seasons provided poor snow. With a 2 degree rise in temperatures it would be two out of five, with +3 degrees it would be three out of five, and with +4 degrees it would be four out of five, according to the study.
The French and Austrian researchers behind the report assessed the impact of these scenarios on 2,234 ski areas across 28 European countries, including 203 resorts in Switzerland.
If temperatures rose 1.5%, 32% of European resorts would be in danger and 5% of Swiss resorts. With a 2 degree rise more that half of ski resorts across Europe would have insufficient snow every other year. If temperatures rose 4 degrees in Switzerland, 99% of ski resorts would be forced to use artificial snow.
The report also highlighted the limits of artificial snow. Under a +2 degree scenario the percentage of European resorts at risk would fall from over half to 27% with artificial snow. Under a 4 degree rise the percentage would fall from 99% to 71% with artificial snow. Artificial snow would have a similarly limited impact in Switzerland. Under a 2 degree rise the unviable ski resort percentage would be 5%, and under a 4 degree rise it would be 38%.