Snowfields a generation from meltdown

Hunter

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Sounds like a rehash of the dire predictions in the 20/20 report years ago ............

As reported in the Age this morning




VICTORIA
A swan song of ice but not fire: Snowfields close to meltdown

Snowfields are a generation away from complete meltdown in Victoria. For Lake Mountain and Mt Baw Baw, natural snowfall could vanish much, much sooner.

By mid-century, most of the state's resorts are likely to have closed and the number of days each year of good natural snow cover on the ski ...


Quote :

Victoria could see the end of ski seasons in 30 years, a state government report warns.

By mid-century, most of the state's resorts are likely to have closed and the number of days each year of good natural snow cover on the ski slopes could be in single figures.

Victoria's busiest snow resorts have just 20 to 30 more years of reliable natural snowfall before a warming climate threatens their viability, while lower altitude resorts may have just 10 more years.

The report for the Andrews government forecasts another 20 to 30 years of economically viable natural snowfall for the state’s biggest alpine resorts, Mt Hotham, Mt Buller and Falls Creek, and perhaps 10 years or less for the lower altitude resorts Lake Mountain and Mt Baw Baw.



As climate change brings warmer and drier weather to the state, the mountain resorts will rely even more on artificial snow to stay in business but it will also become more energy-intensive and more expensive to produce.

The likeliest outcome is that Victoria’s snow resorts will gradually close, until just one or two remain in business by mid-century, offering an increasingly rarefied experience.

“Snow-covered vistas across the region will initially be much diminished and eventually all but gone, with the patches of white largely confined to those created by machines, some even covered by a roof,” the report says.

Bushfires will become more frequent and heavy rains will erode more soil from the mountains.

“The native flora will be stressed and some species lost, changing the character of the area.”

By 2070, there may be no snow industry in Victoria and the mountain resorts might reinvent themselves as escapes from the intense heat of summer.

The report by SGS Economics and Planning is the result of more than a year’s research and consultation and was published by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning this week.

It has not been peer-reviewed and it cautions that modelling the impact of climate change of Victoria’s snowfields beyond 20 years is difficult and will be influenced by the success of international efforts to contain global warming.

But under a worst case scenario, by 2050 the number of days in which one centimetre or more of snow covers the state’s ski slopes will be in single figures.

Under a best case scenario there could be more than 100 days of natural snow on the highest slopes of Mt Hotham and Falls Creek, up to 90 days at Mt Buller, but none at Lake Mountain and Mt Baw Baw.

Cam Walker, campaigns co-ordinator at Friends of the Earth, said the report ought to serve as a wake-up call.

“If this report is correct then it says we are at a tipping point and that we could see the end of the snow industry in Australia in our lifetimes,” Mr Walker said.

Victoria’s snow resorts contributed $483 million to regional economies and supported 3900 direct jobs and 1360 indirect jobs in 2016.

Mark Bennetts, the chief executive of Mt Buller and Mt Stirling Resorts, said the report was “no news” to resort operators.

Mt Buller has another 20 to 30 years of reliable natural snow, a report predicts.

Photo: Jason South
“We won’t know what is going to happen until it happens but having said that, the mountains have known about and been dealing with reductions in total snowfall and peak snowfall for years and years,” Mr Bennetts said.

The resort is waiting for approval from the Turnbull government to build a 100-megalitre dam on the mountain, to provide water for potable use and snowmaking.

Laurie Blampied, general manager of Buller Ski Lifts, said technology had advanced to the point where snow could be made at any temperature.

But an increasing reliance on artificial snow would not make the industry less viable, he said.

“If the product [snow] becomes less common, it will in turn become more valued and people are going to be prepared to pay more of a premium to enjoy a product if it’s scarce, a bit like a fine wine,” Mr Blampied said.

The report is part of a long-term government strategy to address climate change impacts.

“Climate change is happening and Victoria’s snowfields are not immune to this reality,” Energy and Environment Minister Lily D'Ambrosio said.

“Skiers can continue to expect snow but we're developing a long-term plan to ensure our alpine regions are visited year-round."


Falling snow

Average number of days of natural snow cover at Victorian ski resorts
Ski resort 2000s 2020s* 2050s* 2070s*
Mt Hotham 98 (lower slopes) to 129 (higher slopes) 59-92 (lower slopes) to 100-120 (higher slopes) 0-29 (lower slopes) to 21-114 (higher slopes) Transient snow cover

Falls Creek 105 (lower slopes) to 125 (higher slopes) 68-99 (lower slopes) to 92-120 (higher slopes) 2-59 (lower slopes) to 18-108 (higher slopes) Transient snow cover

Mt Buller 108 70-102 7-89 days Transient snow cover
Mt Baw Baw 80 32-71 0 0
Lake Mountain 74 30-66 0 0
 

TOFF

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Sounds like a rehash of the dire predictions in the 20/20 report years ago ............

As reported in the Age this morning




VICTORIA
A swan song of ice but not fire: Snowfields close to meltdown

Snowfields are a generation away from complete meltdown in Victoria. For Lake Mountain and Mt Baw Baw, natural snowfall could vanish much, much sooner.

By mid-century, most of the state's resorts are likely to have closed and the number of days each year of good natural snow cover on the ski ...


Quote :

Victoria could see the end of ski seasons in 30 years, a state government report warns.

By mid-century, most of the state's resorts are likely to have closed and the number of days each year of good natural snow cover on the ski slopes could be in single figures.

Victoria's busiest snow resorts have just 20 to 30 more years of reliable natural snowfall before a warming climate threatens their viability, while lower altitude resorts may have just 10 more years.

The report for the Andrews government forecasts another 20 to 30 years of economically viable natural snowfall for the state’s biggest alpine resorts, Mt Hotham, Mt Buller and Falls Creek, and perhaps 10 years or less for the lower altitude resorts Lake Mountain and Mt Baw Baw.



As climate change brings warmer and drier weather to the state, the mountain resorts will rely even more on artificial snow to stay in business but it will also become more energy-intensive and more expensive to produce.

The likeliest outcome is that Victoria’s snow resorts will gradually close, until just one or two remain in business by mid-century, offering an increasingly rarefied experience.

“Snow-covered vistas across the region will initially be much diminished and eventually all but gone, with the patches of white largely confined to those created by machines, some even covered by a roof,” the report says.

Bushfires will become more frequent and heavy rains will erode more soil from the mountains.

“The native flora will be stressed and some species lost, changing the character of the area.”

By 2070, there may be no snow industry in Victoria and the mountain resorts might reinvent themselves as escapes from the intense heat of summer.

The report by SGS Economics and Planning is the result of more than a year’s research and consultation and was published by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning this week.

It has not been peer-reviewed and it cautions that modelling the impact of climate change of Victoria’s snowfields beyond 20 years is difficult and will be influenced by the success of international efforts to contain global warming.

But under a worst case scenario, by 2050 the number of days in which one centimetre or more of snow covers the state’s ski slopes will be in single figures.

Under a best case scenario there could be more than 100 days of natural snow on the highest slopes of Mt Hotham and Falls Creek, up to 90 days at Mt Buller, but none at Lake Mountain and Mt Baw Baw.

Cam Walker, campaigns co-ordinator at Friends of the Earth, said the report ought to serve as a wake-up call.

“If this report is correct then it says we are at a tipping point and that we could see the end of the snow industry in Australia in our lifetimes,” Mr Walker said.

Victoria’s snow resorts contributed $483 million to regional economies and supported 3900 direct jobs and 1360 indirect jobs in 2016.

Mark Bennetts, the chief executive of Mt Buller and Mt Stirling Resorts, said the report was “no news” to resort operators.

Mt Buller has another 20 to 30 years of reliable natural snow, a report predicts.

Photo: Jason South
“We won’t know what is going to happen until it happens but having said that, the mountains have known about and been dealing with reductions in total snowfall and peak snowfall for years and years,” Mr Bennetts said.

The resort is waiting for approval from the Turnbull government to build a 100-megalitre dam on the mountain, to provide water for potable use and snowmaking.

Laurie Blampied, general manager of Buller Ski Lifts, said technology had advanced to the point where snow could be made at any temperature.

But an increasing reliance on artificial snow would not make the industry less viable, he said.

“If the product [snow] becomes less common, it will in turn become more valued and people are going to be prepared to pay more of a premium to enjoy a product if it’s scarce, a bit like a fine wine,” Mr Blampied said.

The report is part of a long-term government strategy to address climate change impacts.

“Climate change is happening and Victoria’s snowfields are not immune to this reality,” Energy and Environment Minister Lily D'Ambrosio said.

“Skiers can continue to expect snow but we're developing a long-term plan to ensure our alpine regions are visited year-round."


Falling snow

Average number of days of natural snow cover at Victorian ski resorts
Ski resort 2000s 2020s* 2050s* 2070s*
Mt Hotham 98 (lower slopes) to 129 (higher slopes) 59-92 (lower slopes) to 100-120 (higher slopes) 0-29 (lower slopes) to 21-114 (higher slopes) Transient snow cover

Falls Creek 105 (lower slopes) to 125 (higher slopes) 68-99 (lower slopes) to 92-120 (higher slopes) 2-59 (lower slopes) to 18-108 (higher slopes) Transient snow cover

Mt Buller 108 70-102 7-89 days Transient snow cover
Mt Baw Baw 80 32-71 0 0
Lake Mountain 74 30-66 0 0
Do these figures take into account the inevitable nuclear winter once talks between Trump and Kim Jong fail?
 

skichanger

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mmm interesting that the Average number of days of natural snow cover at Victorian ski resorts is currently higher than or similar to the number of days most of my local resorts are open in Japan. This is roughly 100 days. Though we do close with a bigger base than we ever get in Aus and open with about the same base as the maximum we get in Aus.
 

Telemark Phat

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Gergs simple polynomial trend line says there will be no more natural snow at rocky dam by 2070
Rocky_Valley_peak_trend_extrapolated_band.png


Using the same method SPencers Ck has another 40 years ontop of Rocky Ck before there is a year with no natural snow.
Spencers_peak_trend_extrapolated_band_2.png


I'd give that report a lot of credit because we're currently tracking the worst scenario in the last IPCC report.
Global_monthly_temps_Berkeleyl_long_extrap.png
 
Last edited:

climberman

CloudRide1000 Legend
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mmm interesting that the Average number of days of natural snow cover at Victorian ski resorts is currently higher than or similar to the number of days most of my local resorts are open in Japan. This is roughly 100 days. Though we do close with a bigger base than we ever get in Aus and open with about the same base as the maximum we get in Aus.
Wow, that’s interesting - as you say the seasonal snowfall differences are stark though!
 

Team Weasel

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Yep, this is why I'm leaving Oz. I love being in the mountains, and we're not far off just having mounds of dirt and rock for alpine summits, with resorts gouging every last dollar they can before their inevitable end. Hopefully the BC skiing lasts longer, but I ain't waiting around to watch our snowpack become ever more sparse.

I get the feeling that people just don't see or care about climate change here...it seems that many just see warmer days and less rain and are happy to sign up for that. Or they are figuring they'll be dead before all the really bad stuff happens.
 
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Xwing

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Yep, this is why I'm leaving Oz. I love being in the mountains, and we're not far off just having mounds of dirt and rock for alpine summits, with resorts gouging every last dollar they can before their inevitable end. Hopefully the BC skiing lasts longer, but I ain't waiting around to watch our snowpack become ever more sparse.

I get the feeling that people just don't see or care about climate change here...it seems that many just see warmer days and less rain and are happy to sign up for that. Or they are figuring they'll be dead before all the really bad stuff happens.

A lot here don't really figure anything, then you get dills on tv weather talking up nice warm winter weather. Most aussies hate the cold.

Also, we are changing the electro magnetism with so much development and coupled with the change in Earth's magnetic shield rendering us more vulnerable to space weather along with the turbulence / weather of the molten outter core of the planet. Our particulate count is way above world health advice...but aussies are just about the worst in consumptuion etc and for not giving a rats.
 

Snow Blowey

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Yep, this is why I'm leaving Oz. I love being in the mountains, and we're not far off just having mounds of dirt and rock for alpine summits, with resorts gouging every last dollar they can before their inevitable end. Hopefully the BC skiing lasts longer, but I ain't waiting around to watch our snowpack become ever more sparse.

I get the feeling that people just don't see or care about climate change here...it seems that many just see warmer days and less rain and are happy to sign up for that. Or they are figuring they'll be dead before all the really bad stuff happens.

You are going to travel along way - pressumably on a plane - to escape all those people that dont care about CC.

Too funny.

Think you are a bigger part of the problem than you realise.
 
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Seth

I am figure skating
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You are going to travel along way - pressumably on a plane - to escape all those people that dont care about CC.

Too funny.

Think you are a bigger part of the problem than you realise.
Don't think the plan is to do it frequently rather permanently.

That's a bit different to going on a ski holiday each year.
 

skichanger

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Wow, that’s interesting - as you say the seasonal snowfall differences are stark though!
My places in Aus and Japan are roughly the same distance from the equator and the same altitude. Big difference is the amount of precipitation. Ironically Aus has permanent snow, albeit a very small amount, and where I am in Japan does not.
 

Snow Blowey

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My places in Aus and Japan are roughly the same distance from the equator and the same altitude. Big difference is the amount of precipitation. Ironically Aus has permanent snow, albeit a very small amount, and where I am in Japan does not.

Land mass is the difference. Colder in winter and warmer in summer.
 

OlCol

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We are all high resource consuming individuals, lets not be in denial...
This is true, but the very wealthy dont care simply because they can live and play where ever they like. For this reason alone the incumbant governments that are propped up by these rich people are not likely to do anything about it.
 

Snow Blowey

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This is true, but the very wealthy dont care simply because they can live and play where ever they like. For this reason alone the incumbant governments that are propped up by these rich people are not likely to do anything about it.

Who cares then? The poor are to busy just trying to stay alive. Only the wealthy have time to sit around and ponder.
 

Legs Akimbo

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If you walk up to Kosciousko you walk past a few drifts that are there year round. It might not be very much but it is some. Where I am in Japan it all goes, all 15 metres ave annual snowfall of it.
Not if you walk up to Kossie in April or May. In the olden days a few persistent drifts happened most (but not all) years. Not any more.
 

Hermannator

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If you walk up to Kosciousko you walk past a few drifts that are there year round. It might not be very much but it is some. Where I am in Japan it all goes, all 15 metres ave annual snowfall of it.
Others in the BC thread are all over that - I thought I read that it lasts 'til April if one's lucky here in Aus
 

Telemark Phat

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If you walk up to Kosciousko you walk past a few drifts that are there year round. It might not be very much but it is some. Where I am in Japan it all goes, all 15 metres ave annual snowfall of it.
There hasn't been snow which has lasted over the summer since 2000. Even before then it happened at most 2 or 3 summers a decade.
 

Ben

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This dribble gets wheeled out every year pre season... Yet still the jury is out.
 

skichanger

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The jury is not out. Its not a question of if Australia will have a winter without any natural snowfalls, its a question of exactly when.
It will be a long time for no snowfalls. Stuff sticking around is different. I grew up in Tamworth. In my childhood there was no snow except for floating around in the air. None that settled. Since then there has been snow on the ground in Tamworth. I find this kinda weird considering global warming etc.But I understand that one of the consequences is more extreme weather.
 

Bluebird

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It's a global trend that glaciers and ice sheets are retreating, sea ice reducing, snowfalls more erratic etc. It makes sense that Australia would follow that trend.

That's not to say we have to like it though! :mad:
 
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OlCol

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The jury is not out. Its not a question of if Australia will have a winter without any natural snowfalls, its a question of exactly when.
This
I have been driving up to Perisher just about every year since 1983. Climate change is real and has been happening, even before I started visiting Perisher. I can say I have observed the July/August snow line and depth creep up almost to Smiggins, when it was often around Sawpit Creek. I think the biggest change has occurred at altitudes below 1600m. Check out the deep creek and three mile dam readings since the records began.
My big worry is that nothing will get done until its too late. Governments should be doing something, like planning for resettlement of cities on higher ground. Not wasting money on crackpot ideas such as clean coal or CO2 storage.
 
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