December 19, 2008

Report: Snow-making no cure-all

Researchers say Swiss ski resorts cannot count on snow-making equipment to rescue them from the effects of global warming.

The Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne studied the economic benefit of snow-making between 2003 and 2005, swissinfo reported. Researchers concluded that resorts using equipment to provide snow for more than 18 miles of slopes would have trouble recouping their investment in equipment.

Snow-making facilities are often presented as a central measure in adapting to climate change, Camille Gonseth, who conducted the study, told swissinfo. My results show that snowmaking cannot be considered a panacea.

Smaller resorts and those at low altitudes would also have economic trouble, the researchers said.

Recent warm winters have been tough on many resorts in the Alps and Scotland. Some competitive events have been moved north to ensure adequate snow.