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Environmental group: Warmer winters cost N.H. ski resorts millions

Warmer winters mean less snow, fewer skiers and less revenue for New Hampshire’s ski resorts, according to a report released yesterday by the National Resources Defense Council, an environmental-advocacy group.

“Climate Impacts on the Winter Tourism Economy in the United States” says warmer weather over the past decade has cost the winter-tourism industry across 38 states an estimated $1 billion and 27,000 jobs.

“In the many U.S. states that rely on winter tourism, climate change is expected to contribute to warmer winters, reduced snowfall, and shorter snow seasons,” said Elizabeth Burakowski, a University of New Hampshire research and co-author of the report, which was jointly sponsored by the NRDC and another group, Protect Our Winters.

In New Hampshire, the report said, global warming could reduce the length of the snow season by 25 to 50 percent by the end of the century, depending on emissions and temperature rise. Winters with lower snowfall see $54.3 million less in revenue and 17 percent fewer visits by skiers to the state’s resorts, compared with high-snowfall winters, the report said.

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