A decline in snowfall averages across America is the focus of tonight's "PBS Newshour" broadcast, and big-mountain skier Chris Davenport will be among the featured guests.
“You don't know if you're going to have good snow,” Davenport, an Old Snowmass resident, told PBS. “You don't know if it's going to come early or late, or if the spring is going to become warm, and the season is going to end prematurely. We just don't have that dependability anymore.”
Davenport is among a growing legion of winter athletes who are speaking out about climate change. He and Aspen-based Olympic snowboarding silver medalist Gretchen Bleiler have previously teamed up with Lake Tahoe freerider Jeremy Jones to share their first-hand observations of climate change with Congress.
"PBS Newshour" is concluding its year-long "Coping with Climate Change" project with tonight's final installment. Correspondent Hari Sreenivasan will take look at how a nationwide decline in snowfall averages is affecting the skiing industry in places like Aspen. Visits to ski areas were down 15 percent in 2012, and a low snowfall winter can cost the U.S. between 13,000 and 27,000 jobs, representing $800 million in unrealized revenue, the TV news program reports.
In previous installments, “Coping with Climate Change” examined:
· Drought caused by a decreasing water supply in Texas.
· Rising sea levels threatening Native American tribes in Louisiana
· Warming water endangering salmon fisheries in the Northwest
· Michigan’s cherry harvest, destroyed by early season warm weather followed by frost.
· Chicago’s fight against extreme urban heat
· The struggle to teach climate change in schools
· Ocean acidification and how it impacts coral reefs
· The declining health of oysters in the Northwest
Though tonight’s broadcast is the last in the “Coping with Climate Change” series, the NewsHour announced that it will continue to cover the issue both on air and online. Alongside tonight’s broadcast segment, Newshour website will also feature a slideshow of how decreasing snowfall affects other kinds of winter fun and a video on how to make artificial snow.
The "NewsHour" series was funded by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.
PBS is usually on Channel 6 in Colorado but check your local listings to be sure. The program begins at 6 p.m. Mountain Time.