Have you ever wondered how ski resorts keep snow from melting? We all know that climate change is quite real, and it has affected everyone quite massively. If we take a look at the skiing industry, the question arises when it comes to keeping snow from melting. So, how is it done?
Most ski resorts around the world use artificial snow or snow cannons in order to keep snow from melting. Snow cannons simply work as per the commands given and then shoot tons of snow into the specified areas. Some even use shades and covers in order to avoid direct contact of sunlight to the snow, making the melting process slower.
Let’s have an extensive look at the methods that can be used to keep snow from melting. Not only that, but let’s also consider how the future weather will affect the skiing industry.
- The methods used to keep snow from melting!
- How will global warming affect the skiing industry?
The methods used to keep snow from melting!
There are very few methods that are used to keep snow from melting, and all of them are mentioned below:
1. Snow machines/Snow cannons
Snow machines are the most effective way to keep the snow from melting during the whole season. The simple reason behind it is that snow cannons have the capability to throw out and produce tons of snow within mere seconds or minutes.
That is where ski resorts invest their money to buy a number of snow cannons that can be placed around the ski tracks. Then, the snow machines can be pointed in any direction where the snow is needed to adjust the levels.
If we talk about how snow cannons work, they combine compressed air and water in order to make droplets. Those droplets lose pressure quite suddenly, and as soon as they meet the outer temperature, they transform into snow seeds. This method is undoubtedly quite effective but also requires quite a lot of water in order to cover whole tracks. But still, it is the best way up to date to keep snow from melting.
2. Covering the tracks with shades
It is probably one of the actual things that you would not want for your skiing experience. Would you really want to ski at a track that is covered with a shade, making the whole experience unnatural? Probably not! But that is what many ski resorts have to do in order to slow down the melting process without even investing much.
Besides that, covering the tracks only slows down the melting process and is definitely not a consistent solution for the problem. This method is also quite troublesome due to the arrangement of massive covers or tarpaulins and making it possible to cover the whole track with it.
Oh, yes, the sawdust produced from woodworking also has some good uses that can actually make a difference. If you have ever touched sawdust, you would know that they are pretty light. What ski resorts do here is that they cover the snow with sawdust so that it would not damage the snow in any manner. On the other hand, sawdust will help the snow from melting out as it will not let sunlight reach it directly.
This method is, again, quite troublesome, as tons of sawdust would be required in order to cover just a solo area.
How will global warming affect the skiing industry?
The resorts are facing that many problems, even with a tiny percentage of global warming affecting the world. So what would happen after a few decades? Will skiing survive as a sport? Or will it be only possible in Antarctica? (Pun intended)
Well, the simple answer is, future temperatures might not have great plans for ski as a sport. Snow canons are doing their job really well in order to produce snow, but they cannot really produce enough to fill in a whole track. We will have to come up with better innovations that can sort out the issue and keep snow from melting, at least for a few months.
But don’t worry, that is not going to happen within our lifetimes, so you can enjoy skiing all you want. But still, considering how fast the global warming effect is, we will have to think thoroughly for the future and see what other effective methods can be invented
1. How cold does it have to be for ski resorts to make snow?
A- Water undoubtedly freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, but that does not mean that it is the best temperature to make snow. The ideal temperature to make snow is below 30 degrees so that it could also hold out on its shape and density.
2. How long does fake snow last?
A- Artificial snow usually lasts about a week, or probably more, depending on the conditions and track usage. The weather effect also plays a crucial role within this aspect as it can drastically increase the time or take it below average.
3. Are there chemicals in artificial snow?
A- No, there are no chemicals or harmful substances in artificial snow that could affect your body. So even if you got a taste of artificial snow after a fall, you don’t really have to worry about it. The only unusual thing used in artificial snow is the Pseudomonas syringae, and it is non-toxic.
4. Is humidity good for snow?
A- Humidity is what that decides that decides how quickly the snow will melt and form. As for the general rule of thumb, the more the humidity, the more water the air will hold. And the more quickly will heat transfer within the snow because of the greater humidity.
5. What temperatures do snow cannons work at?
A- Most of the snow cannons require the temperature to be 0 or below that in order to produce snow effectively. But in icy areas, this much air temperature is quite common and can fall way below it. So ski resorts don’t usually face many problems with this aspect.
So this is how things work when it comes to keeping snow from melting. While most of the things are in control, for now, there might be problems in the future. So we will have to prepare ourselves and face what is yet to come.