As an avid mountain climber, I have always been fascinated about the environment around me. I am currently in Canada as part of a year-long journey that will see me climb 33 peaks to raise money for Australian charities. One of the most confronting things I have seen on my trip so far is the impact climate change is already having on the world around us.
Here in Canada, warming temperatures and decreased snowfall have already forced glacial retreat, meaning popular trails are now too difficult to trek.
Climate change awareness has actually increased visitor numbers to many of these places, as people want to see these beautiful environments before it’s too late – which is sad as, if we all act now on climate change, we can protect these special places.
Seeing the changes in mountainous regions around the world makes me wonder, what will climate change do to Australia’s most popular alpine locations?
Despite being relatively small on a global scale, south-eastern Australia is still heavily dependent on ski industry tourism – particularly in the Australian alps.
Our ski seasons are short enough as it is and most resorts depend on that entire season to cover yearly costs. Moreover, as less money is made from shortened ski seasons, more money will need to be committed to the creation of artificial snow.
Alpine tourist locations are hugely important for Australia, not only for the economy but also for our own recreation and enjoyment. Every year almost three million people travel to south-eastern alpine resorts and the benefits of that cannot be underestimated.
Unless we start to act on climate change, our much-loved ski industry could suffer tremendously in the years to come.