In Italy, it is snowing less and less and the number of ski resorts closed due to the increase in winter temperatures is increasing considerably. There are 177 temporarily closed across the peninsula. Or 92 in the Alps and 85 in the Apennines, according to the survey carried out by Legambiente in the Nevediversa 2024 report. This figure includes an increase of 39 units compared to the 2023 report, which would be even more if 241 factories – an increase of 33 units compared to a year ago – did not survive only thanks to the injection of public money, in a practice that the environmental association defines it as “therapeutic obstinacy”, financed with 148 million euros, used for modernization and artificial snowmaking, compared to only 4 million allocated to the promotion of ecotourism.

Numbers

The ever-increasing use of artificial snow is confirmed by the increase in the number of reservoirs created precisely for this purpose, which now number 158 throughout the country, which is 16 more than in 2023. In addition, 93 facilities remained open intermittently. and begins, nine more than in 2023. Abandoned structures increased by 11 units compared to last year, reaching a total of 260. Legambiente analyzes dozens of plants in detail and gives the example of Piedmont, where the winter ended with a temperature three degrees higher than the average for the period 1991-2020, making it the warmest in the last 70 years. Despite this – writes the association – in Piedmont, where the funds disbursed are among the most transparent and traceable, the contributions planned for the 2023-2025 biennium amount to 32,339,873 euros (compared to 29,044,956 euros for the biennium 2022). -2024).

“The most ephemeral snow of the last 600 years”

These are figures that underline the need to rethink winter mountain tourism and which, according to Legambiente, were not sufficiently taken into account in the choice to host the Milan-Cortina Winter Olympics in 2026. recent study from the University of Padua published in Nature The recent decrease in snow cover in the Alps is unprecedented in the last six centuries – in fact, it highlights that it continues to snow in the Alps, but less and less and in an increasingly discontinuous manner and with temperature changes that do not allow the snow to stabilize and whiten the peaks throughout the winter. In February 2024, 64% of the snow normally found on the country's mountains during the same period was missing. The duration of snow cover has decreased by an average of one month, and write Carrer, Dibona, Prenden and Brunetti, it has never been so short-lived in the last 600 years, as snow accumulates slowly in fall and melts more quickly in spring. .

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