Winters without snow challenge both the national character and the economy

Winters without snow challenge both national soul and economyBeautiful winter in the mountains on Blefjell.Buskerud county Photo: Erik Johansen / NTB scanpix

The Norwegian national character will be challenged when climate change melts away the Norwegian snow. For industries and municipalities the winters withous snow will mean huge economic losses, according to a new report from the Norwegian Climate Foundation, which was presented on Wednesday.
The traditional Norwegian winter may disappear completely or partly, within the next generations.  The snow map from the report “Climate in Norway 2100” from the Norwegian Climate Centre shows that low-lying and coastal parts of Norway, where most Norwegians live, already by mid-century are in for a significantly shorter snow season.
In the year 2100 the new normal in much of the country will be little – if anything at all – snow in winter. How quickly the changes occur and how severe they are will depend on greenhouse gas emissions.
Expressions that Norwegians are born with skis on their feet, and the part of Norwegians’  identity that is strongly linked to snow, will be challenged in the coming years.
But billions are at stake if we lose the kind of winter we are used to, the report  “Grey Winter”, published by the Norwegian Climate Foundation, stated. The report was presented in Oslo on Wednesday.
financial implications
What winters without snow will do with our hearts and souls, is one thing. But financially, the absence of snow have major consequences for industries and municipalities,  Hilde Charlotte Solheim, freelancer and former director of active tourism, says. She has written an analysis on the topic for the Norwegian Climate Foundation.
– It is impossible to calculate the value of a perfect winter day on skis, but in this report important people who know the Norwegians’ relationship with skis and winter, have pointed out the importance of snow for participants and communities. And according to them, this is of formidable economic importance,  Solheim stresses.
2000000 skiing
– Nobody in the world spend as much money on sports as Norwegians do. Figures from the sports industry shows that Norwegians spends 4 billion for equipment for winter activities,  Solheim says. The reason is that we have two “clearly defined” seasons, winter and summer.
Among other things she points to around 2 million Norwegians going skiing in a year. At the best “snow days” in winter more than 200,000 people are skiing in the fields around Oslo, which also contributes much to the public health of Norwegians.
She stressed that the federation and DNT activities around the country also provides clear additional turnover in local communities.
– The big World Cup organizers typically have a turnover of 15-20 million per event. Each krone being realized and used for purchases as part of the events will provide 4 million in additional turnover for acquisition of other services and products in the region, the report said.


Source. NTB scanpix / Norway Today