Europe’s winter resorts suffer under global warming

A number of low-level ski resorts in Europe have been forced to close as a result of unseasonably warm conditions and very limited snowfall.

In a warning to underwriters, the closures come as Europe has started the new year with record-breaking temperatures.

Recent temperatures in Europe have showed warmer than average conditions. Poland as seen daily highs in the double digits Celsius — or more than 50 Fahrenheit — in recent days.

Indeed, temperatures in France at the end of the year were the warmest for 25 years, according to national forecaster Meteo France.

It was a similar picture in Switzerland, where a weather station in the Jura range saw a record daily average of 18.1C on New Year’s Day.

It is understood that the northern Alps and French Pyrenees are struggling for snow and some resorts, after barely being open a month, have had to close until things improve.

One of the latest to shut has been Ax 3 Domaines, near France’s border with Andorra, which closed on Saturday after only a few weeks.

Switzerland’s Adelboden, which on Saturday hosts World Cup skiing, is having to run the race on 100% artificial snow this year.

The Swiss resort of Splugen-Tambo also said on Monday that it was closing “until further notice”.

“Unfortunately, due to the lack of snow, the heavy rainfall and high temperatures, we have to close our ski resort from January 2, 2023, until further notice,” it said in a statement.

Wim Thiery, climate science professor at the University of Brussels, said the jet stream bringing warm air from subtropical areas into Europe had helped generate the warm temperatures.