Do you enjoy wet snow and waiting in queue for the ski-lift? Then all your dreams can come true in a near future.
Rising temperatures and changes in precipitation mean that we are facing a warmer and wetter winter. A rice in temperature of about 4 degrees would result in 3 out of 4 ski-resorts will be forced to close due to lack of snow. The resorts in the Alps are particular vulnerable since they are already situated in a warmer climate.
According to the forecasts the average temperature is estimated to rice about 1,9 degrees until the year 2100. It will vary depending on where you live, and it will be more palpable in the winter. (Chang and Hansen, 2014)
In Scandinavia the conditions are a bit different. According to a study issued by Länsstyrelsen i Norrbotten, (the county administration of Norrbotten in Sweden) the worst case scenario is a rice of 7 degrees during the winter time. What this would mean for us snow-loving ski-enthusiasts isn’t hard to figure out. We would have more days with rain and thaw and a shorter winter season. Since we have a colder climate than the Alps, the ski-resorts wouldn’t have to close, but with a season that could be up to 45 days shorter, the consequences are serious enough. It would also affect us skiers directly when the shorter season would mean larger crowds, longer lines and poor snow-quality!
THE HUMAN FACTOR AND ELEVATED GREENHOUSE EFFECT
There has been a lot of discussions whether the climate change is a part or the natural evolution or if it’s caused by us humans. Thanks to extensive research we can establish that it is not a result of a change in the suns intensity or other external factors. In a study issued by the UN, a group of 1300 independent scientists come to the conclusion that with 90% accuracy, it is the human factor that is responsible for the changes in climate that we have witnessed the last 250 years. (NASA)
Simplified you can say that it’s mainly due to the greenhouse-gas emissions and changes at the earths surface. The elevated percentage of gases in the atmosphere, especially carbon dioxid, radiates the heat back onto Earth.
PROTECT OUR WINTERS SWEDEN
Even though we know all this, we continue to use energy and emit gases into the atmosphere. But there are people that care and would like to put a stop to this. Among them there are a couple of snow-lovers that are trying to make a difference. In North America the non-profit organisation Protect Our Winters are starting to grow, and now they are setting up shop in Sweden. They are focusing on climate change in the nordic countries, and SWEARE are happy to be teaming up with them to make a difference and try to stop further climate change.
Johan Ahlgren is one of the founders of Protect Our Winters, Sweden and we asked him to briefly tell us a bit about the company.
How did it all start?
“The non-profit organisation behind POW Sweden was founded 2014 by Johan Ahlgren and Johnn Anderson, under the name Save Our Snow. We came in contact with each other after Johan had written an article about the climate threats on freeride.se. Since early 2016 we are now a part of the international climate-organization Protect Our Winters. Protect Our Winters was founded in 2007 by the professional snowboarder Jeremy Jones and now they have offices in USA, Austria, France, Finland, Norway and Sweden.”
What do you do to prevent further climate change?
“The work we do consist of different parts. We are bringing forth new knowledge and science about how the climate change is affecting our winters. We then use that information together with other clime-related research to inform and discuss the climate threat. It can be through social media, articles, conferences or events.
Melting snow is hardly the biggest problem we are facing, but sometimes it work well as a educational tool when we want to involve and inspire more people to join us.
The most important part is to get more people engaged and push our society towards a more sustainable direction, with the ultimate goal to keep the global warming below the magical 1,5 degree limit.”
What can the common snow-loving environmental conscious person do to contribute?
“Talk climate and get involved. You can be a inspiration to others if you yourself live a more climate-smart life. And if you join an organisation you can help put pressure on decision-makers and contribute to the major changes in the society.”
What’s your plans for the near future?
“We have a very exciting spring ahead. Amongst other things we will be at ”Fjällfest” in Storulvån in april talking climate. Next winter we have written a fez exciting articles that will be printed in Swedish ski- and outdoor magazines, so keep your eyes open!
Then we hope to grow as an organisation, get more skiers and snowboarders involved in the climate issue.”
WHAT DOES SWEARE DO?
At SWEARE we will try to follow Protect Our Winters mantra and get engaged by living a climate-smart life. We also hope to cooperate with Protect Our Winters more in the future.
We try to do everything we can so that every step in our manufacturing process have as little environmental impact as possible.
Use environmental friendly wool
We only use EXP-wool in our clothes. EXP stands for EX-Pollution, or the avoidance of pollutants such as chlorine, during the anti-felt treatment process. This enables your EXP-wool clothes to be washed with regular detergent together with the rest of you training gear! TheEXP-wool is the first wool finishing process in the world to meet the strict criteria of Bluesign, OEKO-Tex and G.O.T.S standard.
By keeping all our production in Europe we minimize the transports and consequently the amount of toxic emissions we are responsible for.
All of SWEARE’s products are tested thoroughly at a textile laboratory in Östersund, Sweden to make sure that the clothes are reaching a high standard of quality and will stand wear and tear. this will lead to that the costumer can use their SWEARE clothes for a longer time without having to buy something new and thereby contribute to higher consumption and more emissions.
If one of our products still would break or get worn out, we try to repair it any way it’s possible.
EVERYONE CAN HELP
Taking care of our environment is something we are dedicated to and it should be for everyone, especially people who love the outdoors life and skiers. We would like to encourage everyone to check out www.protectourwinters.se and see how you can participate!
“Global Climate Change”, NASA
“Global Forest Change 2000-2014”, Chang & Hansen
“Slaskiga vintrar och längre somrar”, Länsstyrelsen i Norrbotten