We all remember the terrible fire season of 2019/20. Among the huge range of impacts on people and landscapes, one significant detail was that the tourism season basically didn’t happen across much of the south east that year. Mountain towns, ski resorts, even valley communities were evacuated. Lots of people missed out on summer holidays. And many workers and businesses suffered terrible economic losses (compounded soon after by covid lockdowns).
It makes you wonder what the future looks like for communities that rely on beautiful natural environments to attract visitors, who then underpin the local economy. With forecasts of longer and more intense fire seasons, and more erratic snowpack in winter, it is hard not to see a future where ecosystems and local economies don’t struggle to adapt to the changes that are coming.
This problem is likely to occur everywhere. For instance, recent research, published in Global Environmental Change, looked at how the use of state and federal public lands in the United States may change in the next 30 years under two different warming scenarios.
The biggest changes, they found, will come during the summer months. Their research showed that by 2050 it will ‘simply be too hot to have fun outdoors in many places’.
Continue reading “Climate change is coming for the Places we Love”