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CALL TO ACTION ON CLIMATE - Jane Peel, Chief Reporter
Tuesday November 7, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

British snowports enthusiasts are being urged to do their bit to halt the damage caused by global warming.

The organisation Protect Our Winters UK is asking everyone who is passionate about snow and the mountains to take simple steps that it says will have a big impact.

Protect Our Winters was set up in the US in 2007 by snowboard legend Jeremy Jones.

The UK branch was established earlier this year and had its official launch this autumn.

High-profile ambassadors include the snowboarder and BBC Ski Sunday presenter Ed Leigh and the freeskier and instructor Warren Smith.

They got involved after witnessing for themselves the profound retreat of alpine glaciers and volatile weather patterns.

"I've seen a real decline in snow conditions over the last 25 years and obviously that's not something I want to see continue," Warren Smith told PlanetSKI.

With Warren SmithJane with Warren Smith















"Winter seasons are getting shorter and we've having to go higher and higher to find any reliable snow.

"Inconsistent weather patterns have also meant avalanche risk has been far greater."

Ed Leigh says it's clear how much environments are changing.

"2017 has been one of the biggest changes in weather systems I've ever seen," he told us.

"It was so warm and snow packs were really dangerous.

"It's up to us to take action so that future generations can enjoy the mountains as we do - join Protect Our Winters UK and together we can take positive action on climate change to make a real difference."

With Ed LeighJane with Ed Leigh in Tignes this summer
















In July, PlanetSKI was with Ed Leigh in Tignes in France where a summer heatwave combined with low snowfall last winter resulted in dreadful conditions on the glacier.

Tignes glacier, July 2017Tignes glacier, July 2017
















The picture was similar elsewhere in the Alps.



A report recently published by the Swiss Academy of Natural Sciences says 2017 was one of the worst years on record, with Swiss glaciers losing 3 per cent of their total volume.

It says the ice melt recorded between October 2016 and September 2017 would fill a 25 metre swimming pool for every household in Switzerland.

Morteratsch glacier, SwitzerlandView of Morteratsch glacier, Switzerland
















Just this week provisional figures from the World Meteorological Organization suggested that this year was "very likely" to be in the top three warmest years on record.

In their annual State of the Climate report presented at the UN climate talks, the WMO scientists said the long-term trend of global warming driven by human activities was continuing.

They argued that many of the "extraordinary" weather events seen this year had all the hallmarks of climate change.

WMO image on 2017 global warmingHow the world warmed in 2017 - WMO
















Protect Our Winters UK has come up with a climate action piste map.

The green run represents simple actions, those you can take as an individual.

The black run represents tougher actions such as questioning and challenging big business.

POW UK piste mapClimate action piste map

















POW UK piste map guideWhat you can do














"POW UK isn't about delivering messages of doom and gloom," the founder, Sandy Trust, explained.

"We know that doesn't work.

"We want to tap into all the enthusiasm and excitement that people have for snowsports, and to channel that passion into positive action around climate change so we can protect our winters for future generations."

Find out more about Protect Our Winters UK.


See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news

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