Swiss ski resorts not able to guarantee snow in future, study finds

Swiss ski resorts not able to guarantee snow in future, study finds

A study carried out by a Swiss university has found that ski resorts in Switzerland could find themselves struggling to source snow in the future, as global warming leads to increasingly unpredictable weather and higher water and electricity prices make it more expensive to create artificial snow.

University of Basel study shows snow may no longer be guaranteed

To create the study, researchers focused on the resort of Andermatt-Sedrun-Disentis - a ski resort that investors recently chose to expand. Specifically, they looked at how well the ski resort would be able to sustain itself in terms of snowfall up to the year 2100. 

Experts predicted that Switzerland will soon start to see significantly less snow than what is common today. According to the report, the Swiss Alps will be able to maintain a 100-day ski season in the higher areas in the mountains, but the future is less certain for resorts in lower-lying areas.

No guarantee that Christmas ski-season would be snowy

The researchers also found that there will be no guarantee of snow over the public holidays by 2100. Even if ski resorts switched to using artificial snow, the costs would be significant. According to the study’s calculations, water consumption at ski resorts could increase by up to 80 percent, driving up the price of water and energy, which are both needed to manufacture the snow.

"What many people don't consider is that you also need certain weather conditions for technical snowmaking," Erika Hiltbrunner from the University of Basel told 20 Minuten. "It must not be too warm and the air must not be too humid, otherwise there will not be sufficient evaporation cooling for the atomised water to freeze in the air and come down as snow."

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Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. She then obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in journalism....

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