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But Williams also has done detailed studies of how the warming climate may affect downhill ski areas at Mt. Bachelor, Park City and Aspen.
Results will vary. "A small increase in air temperature in the Sierras moves you from snow to rain," he tells Elevation Outdoors. "In Colorado, it moves you from champagne powder to skiing in bikinis, but you're still skiing."
Or at least you're still skiing for a while.
A 2006 study for Aspen used three scenarios: decreasing greenhouse gas emissions; business as usual, and a "bad scenario," in which emissions of greenhouse gases accelerate due to ramped-up burning of fossil fuels.
What has happened since then is worse than bad, as China and India continue to build coal-fired power plants, in hopes of achieving lifestyles enjoyed by those of us in North America.
"With the bad scenario — and things are worse than that today — there's no skiable snow (by 2100 at higher elevations). What that means is what we do today, what we do in the next 10 years, really has a difference in 2050 or 2070," he tells the magazine. "The question is do we care?"
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