Skiers to feel heat of climate change

Last updated 05:00 26/10/2012

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A three-year climate change study of the Southern Lakes predicts less snow, warmer temperatures, more rain and more wind by 2040.

However, the upshot is that the region's cornerstone ski industry can survive with appropriate mitigation and investment, tourism representatives were told yesterday.

Lincoln University researchers met industry bosses to deliver the results of an academic study into the region's predicted climate change.

Adjunct professor of sustainable tourism at Lincoln University Susanne Becken and her team predict warmer temperatures, more rain, more wind and fewer frosts.

Previously, a 1 degree Celsius increase in temperature by the end of the century was predicted but revised models predicted the increase would take place by 2040, she said.

NZSki Coronet Peak ski area manager Hamish McCrostie said the changes would not happen overnight but it was a significant investment [factor].

"Climate change is part of reality and we cannot bury our heads in the sand," he said.

Prof Becken said the model predicted it would stay cold enough to allow snow making and climate change would not spell the end of the snow industry. Fairfax NZ

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