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Ski Resorts Empty as Uncharacteristic Warmth Melts Snow on Swiss Slopes

The Swiss ski resort Dent-de-Vaulion is currently facing a severe crisis due to the impact of climate change. The unusually warm weather in January, which was 2°C above the average for the years 1990-2020, has resulted in the resort’s slopes being devoid of snow during what should be the peak season.

Switzerland is experiencing a warming trend that is almost double the global average, according to the UN IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). This trend is particularly evident in mountainous regions, which tend to trap heat more effectively.

The current conditions at Dent-de-Vaulion are troubling, with temperatures reaching 9°C, far exceeding the typical January average of -1°C. Forecasts suggest that temperatures could rise even further, potentially reaching 11°C. This weekend, temperatures at the summit, which is located 1,707 meters above sea level, are predicted to hover around 8 degrees Celsius with no signs of improvement for at least a week.

Rob McDonald, the Director of, has expressed concern about the persistent warmth at Dent-de-Vaulion this season. He views it as a stark reminder of the rapid changes occurring in our climate. The consistent above-freezing temperatures, especially at the mountain’s peak, pose a significant problem for this season and the future of winter sports in the region.

The economic consequences of this situation are profound. Tourism, which is vital to the Jura mountain range, is now at risk. The Jura is renowned for its 190-mile ridgeway and a variety of activities such as hiking, cycling, and skiing. However, if these weather patterns persist, the region may face a bleak future. Mountain Wilderness, an NGO, reports that 65 mechanical ski lifts are currently unused and rusting away due to the lack of snow.

As Dent-de-Vaulion’s ski lifts remain abandoned, the broader implications of climate change on winter sports, tourism, and local economies cannot be overstated. This situation highlights the urgent need for comprehensive adaptation and mitigation strategies to address these emerging challenges. The once-thriving winter wonderland of Dent-de-Vaulion serves as a stark warning of what the future may hold if global warming continues unchecked.

In response to these challenges, there is a growing movement to combat the impact of climate change on winter sports and mountain tourism. Protect Our Winters UK’s “Send It For Climate” campaign is a call to action for urgent climate action. The campaign empowers individuals to influence political party manifestos, advocating for policies that aim for net zero emissions, transition to renewable energy sources, and support the outdoor industry. Participants can show their support for these crucial initiatives by sending virtual postcards to political leaders. More information on how to participate and make a difference is available on their website.

This campaign emphasizes the need for collective action in the face of climate change, not only to preserve cherished winter sports traditions but also to safeguard our planet for future generations.

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