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In A State Where Snow Is Money...New Study Examines Climate Change And Tourism

Flikr / AspenSnowmass

A new study warns that climate change could devastate the economies of states like New Hampshire that rely heavily on winter tourism.

For states like New Hampshire, snow is money.

And as University of New Hampshire researcher Elizabeth Burakowski says, when that currency dries up because of climate change, it can spell financial doom.

“For New Hampshire, when we looked at this study, we did find that we see about a 17 percent difference in skier visits for good snow years versus bad snow years.”

In those down snow years, New Hampshire ski resorts saw a loss of 54 million dollars in revenue.

Burakowski’s research is the basis for a report issued Thursday that challenges lawmakers to take action to curb climate change.

The analysis, conducted for the Natural Resources Defense Council and Protect Our Winters, calls on Congress to support clean-energy policies that reduce carbon pollution.  The authors say doing nothing could devastate the economies of dozens of states whose economies rely on revenue from winter tourism.

Last winter was the fourth warmest on record in the United States, according to the study. That had a direct impact in New Hampshire, as many of the state’s ski resorts opened late and closed early.

New Hampshire’s winter tourism industry employed nearly 8,000 people in 2010.

The report comes a day after the New Hampshire tourism department predicted a 9 percent increase over last season in spending among winter tourists.

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