Edinburgh based climate campaign charity, Protect Our Winters UK, today warned that the findings of the latest IPCC report demonstrate clearly that the very existence of outdoor and winter sports – and the communities and businesses that they support – are under urgent threat from the climate crisis.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a UN body assessing the science related to climate change, on Wednesday released a Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC). The report states that the “retreat of the high mountain cryosphere will continue to adversely affect recreational activities, tourism, and cultural assets.”
More than 100 scientists from around the world lent their scientific knowledge to this report highlighting the impacts of climate change on ocean, coastal, polar and mountain ecosystems and accesses the consequences for communities and the need to adapt. Glacier mass loss for 2015-2019 was at its highest for any five-year period, it’s been the warmest temperatures on record and there is continued decrease of sea ice and ice mass. Glaciers, snow and ice are declining and will continue to do so. Tourism and recreation activities such as skiing, glacier tourism and mountaineering have been negatively impacted by declining snow cover, glaciers and permafrost and the decline in natural snow cover has already compromised the operation of low-elevation ski resorts. Human influence is recognised as the dominant cause of all this and, unfortunately, the changes are coming faster than scientists previously thought. This latest IPCC report is important because it provides the best available scientific knowledge to empower communities, like the outdoor community, to take action.
Lauren MacCallum, General Manager at Protect Our Winters UK stated: “The changing mountain landscape not only affects our activities and industry but threatens the livelihoods of those living there; the infrastructure, the culture and the community. As outdoors people, we all have cherished experiences of bluebird powder days, we have friends who rely on healthy mountains for a living, and our passion and identities are linked to the mountains. If we want to continue the outdoor activities we love, the time for the community including businesses to get clued up and act is now.
MacCallum added:“The outdoor community in the UK is large, passionate and very worried about the climate crisis. Rightly so, the science now further enforced by the latest IPCC report is brutally uncompromising. POW UK is here to support the UK outdoor community to add its large, passionate and influential voice to the climate movement.”
Outdoor sports lover, climbers, skiers and snowboarders can find out what they can do to take urgent action on the climate crisis and join the transition to a carbon neutral society at: