THE PYRENEES mountain range, visited by thousands of skiing enthusiasts every year, is losing its snow according to climate change experts.
In a new report from the Pyrenees Climate Change Observatory (OPCC) entitled ‘Climate Change in the Pyrenees: Impact, Vulnerability and Acclimatisation’, approved by over one hundred scientists in the field of climate change, it is suggested the average temperature in the Pyrenees has increased by 30 per cent over the last 50 years.
The report claims that this is a sign of things to come, stating that a temperature increase of 2.9 degrees Celsius could be registered on the mountain range by 2050.
Temperatures could rise to 7.1 degrees Celsius on average on the mountain range by the year 2100.
Scientists predict a “significant decrease in snow depth” across the Pyrenees over the coming years, meaning less potential space for ski resorts.
The report claims: “Climate change and its effects on the duration of the snowpack could lead to the reduction of the winter tourist attraction of some ski resorts located in the Pyrenees.”
Experts from the OPCC claim the reduction in snow could also present challenges to wildlife, the “physiological state” of birds navigating the Pyrenees could be affected.
Scientists consider mountain dwelling amphibians, birds and other animals “among the most vulnerable”.
The OPCC add: “In the Pyrenees, impacts are already observed in all natural and socio-economic sectors, such as the accelerated disappearance of sensitive ecosystems and iconographic elements such as glaciers, the alteration of the life cycle of many species, among endemic species, the impact of climate change on natural hazards, tourism-related activities, agriculture or other impacts observed in the hydrological cycle.”