This article was written by David Bain orignally published as the first of the Global Snapshot series, bi-weekly essays written by Protect Our Winters (POW) supporters, which give their local perspective of climate change.
The home of our snow industry is a unique and highly specialised sensitive alpine environment. So sensitive is much of our alpine environment that motorised vehicles of any kind are basically not allowed outside of the resort boundaries.
This environment is unique partly as a result of the old age of the mountains and lack of mountain building, being in the middle of a continental plate. Only minor glacial activity has occurred, being last present between 10,000 and 30,000 years ago. The total area of the true alpine environment (above the tree line) is small, approximately only 770 km2, which is found as a series of ‘islands’ on top of mountains within a sub-alpine ‘sea’. In the order of some 6,500 km2 of alpine and sub-alpine areas annually receives some snowfall. Our endemic alpine species have largely evolved in isolation from other continents and often on isolated mountain tops only tens of kilometres apart.
The essay is available here.