According to experts, Germany is going to lose two thirds of its skiing regions due to climate change affecting negatively the country’s ski tourism. These losses are expected to turn out so severe that even artificial snowmaking equipment won’t be able to make any difference. Politicians demand support for alternative tourism products.
Germany’s federal government expects that only one out of ten winter sports regions in the Alps and uplands will offer enough snow for skiing in the near future, as published in an article by Spiegel Online. Alternative artificial snow is only suitable for a third out of all German skiing regions – the other two thirds are expected to be lost due to climate change. Today, local ski resorts already suffer from the lack of snow, and a half of the resorts are dependent on artificial snow. This situation negatively impacts the tourism in Germany.
Measurements had shown that, since the 19th century, temperatures in the Alps region have been rising twice as fast compared to the global average. While the global average temperature has risen by 1°C, the Alps have gained two. This trend is expected to continue.
Despite several studies and measurements, these prognoses are not handled without doubts. Even though the glaciers are beginning to melt, Germany as a whole has not had less snow than ten years ago. However, some regions record a downward trend in terms of snow.
Furthermore, our knowledge of the climate system is still not comprehensive, with the greenhouse effect still not quantified. According to the Uno climate council, it is unpredictable whether global warming will have mild or heavy impact – either way, the consequences are likely to be devastating.
The ski tourism in Germany is most probably to be hit hard by the environmental changes though. Markus Tressel from the Green political party criticized the lack of initiative in politics: “For years, the government of Germany as well as Bavaria have not been paying any attention to climate change when it comes to ski tourism,” said Tressel. He demands an increased support for other forms of winter tourism. Any further investment into Germany’s skiing infrastructure would be a mistake, according to him.