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Scottish ski industry set for hard times?
Tuesday, 30 September 2003




Climate specialist, David Collins, who is a glacier expert recently expressed the view that the Scottish ski industry could be set for hard times as warmer winters bring more rain to the ski slopes north of the border.

"I would say the outlook is not great for Scottish skiing," said Professor David Collins, who is leading a study on retreating glaciers. "In some respects you could say Scotland will do better because it's likely to have more snow - but it's also likely to get more rain, and that doesn't make for ideal skiing conditions."

Professer Collins was expressing his views at the British Association for the Advancement of Science's Festival in Salford. He said the last decade had seen a pattern of high-pressure anti-cyclones over North Africa and central Europe which had caused more depressions over north Europe.

"The difficulty for the ski industry in Britain is that temperatures are rather more marginal - sometimes it's warm, sometimes cold - and you often get periods when the snow starts melting," said Prof Collins.

He added: "It's interesting to see that the design of the main Scottish ski areas like Glenshee, Braemar and Cairngorm were based on surveys of 1962-3 when we had a particularly cold winter. But that was out of the ordinary.

If current trends are anything to go by, resorts which are not all that high up may have to remove ski-lifts, while higher resorts will have to rely on artificial snow machines.

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