Snowless French Ski Area Considers Future in Warming World
France is experiencing an unusually moderate winter, which has led to low snowfall in ski areas across the country.
One affected ski area is Le Mourtis, in the Pyrenees mountains of southern France. The lack of snow has forced the resort to temporarily close its ski runs -- at the height of the winter season.
Local restaurants and hotels are seeing fewer visitors. People who do come to the area are seeking to do other things besides skiing. Warmer temperatures have made hiking one of the most popular activities.
Recent daytime temperatures at Le Mourtis have reached 10 degrees Celsius. Some hikers even removed winter clothing while making their way across mountain areas containing very little snow.
"Skiing? No one today can guarantee it," said hotel operator Francois Gillaizeau. "If the snow is not here, we have to sell something else." He has been making money by renting out two-wheeled scooters to help visitors in the area have fun.
The scooters can be ridden down grassy mountain hills. They come with equipment made for riding on snow, but Gillaizeau has attached bicycle wheels instead.
His ski rental equipment remains untouched. He says he has had to reduce the hours of some workers and expects business losses during the season to drop as much as 15 percent.
Many people in the area believe the latest winter is more than just a bad year. The last time France experienced such a mild December and January was in 1900, French weather officials say.
Christelle Robert is an official with Meteo-France, the country's national weather service. She told Reuters that mild winters and less snow seem to be a clear sign of global warming.
Scientists have predicted a continued rise in world temperatures. People connected to the area's ski industry are considering a future with much less snow. If such weather continues, ski resorts around 1,600 meters above sea level will be so warm that they will not even be able to use artificial snow because it will melt.
Some of the higher Pyrenees resorts did receive enough snow recently to open for business. But the Le Mourtis resort sits at 1,350 meters, putting it in a so-called melt area.
"It's the second year in a row that we've had no snow," said Laurent Morel, a visitor from the city of Toulouse who was walking on the mountainside with his family. "We love the mountains so we come anyway."
I'm Bryan Lynn.
1.artificial snow 人工造雪
Even these regions are now relying on artificial snow because of climate change.
2.global warming 全球变暖
Global warming is a real problem.
3.winter season 冬季
Right now, the winter season, city temperatures plunged.
4.have fun 玩的开心
He is a fun man, I have fun to be with him.
5.Some of the higher Pyrenees resorts did receive enough snow recently to open for business.
open for business 开门营业
The new stock exchange was open for business yesterday.
The store will open for business tomorrow.
6.It's the second year in a row that we've had no snow.
in a row 连续
It is the sixth month in a row in which imports have fallen.
Ten footballer stood in a row on the sport ground.
法国南部庇里牛斯山脉的Le Mourtis是受影响的滑雪区域之一 。由于降雪不足，滑雪场被迫暂时关闭——此时正值冬季滑雪高峰期 。
当地餐馆和酒店的游客越来越少 。有些游客来该地区不是为了滑雪 。气温升高使徒步旅行成为最受欢迎的活动之一 。
最近Le Mourtis白天的温度已经达到了10摄氏度 。一些徒步旅行者甚至在穿越积雪很少的山区时脱掉了冬衣 。
“滑雪吗？没人能保证这个，”酒店经营者弗朗索瓦·吉莱佐说道 。“如果这里不下雪了，我们就得改行了 。”他通过出租两轮滑板车来赚钱，帮助该地区的游客尽情游玩 。
游客可以利用滑板车从草坡上滑下来 。他们配备的是雪地上滑行的装备，不过吉莱佐配备的是自行车轮子 。
他的滑雪租赁设备仍然完好无损 。他说，他不得不减少一些工人的工作时间，并预计本季度的业务损失将减少15% 。
该地区的许多人认为，最近的这个冬天不仅仅是糟糕的一年 。法国气象官员表示，法国上一次经历如此温暖的12月和1月还是在1900年 。
Christelle Robert是法国国家气象局的官员 。她告诉路透社，暖冬和少雪似乎是全球变暖的明显迹象 。
科学家预测全球气温将持续上升 。该地区滑雪产业的相关从业者正在考虑降雪减少后的出路 。如果这样的天气持续下去，海拔1600米左右的滑雪场将会温暖到甚至连人工降雪都能融化 。
一些海拔较高的庇里牛斯度假胜地最近确实下了足够的雪，可以开门营业 。但是Le Mourtis度假村坐落在1350米的地方，这导致它处于所谓的融雪区 。
“这是连续第二年不降雪了，”来自图卢兹市的游客劳伦特·莫雷尔(Laurent Morel)说 。“我们喜欢山，所以无论怎样我们都会来 。”