Science

Skiing, climbing in warming world: French Alps show dilemma

FILE - In this file photo taken on Oct. 12, 2011, an alpinist heads down a ridge on the Aiguille du Midi (3,842 meters; 12 605 feet), towards the Vallee Blanche on the Mont Blanc massif, in the Alps, near Chamonix, France. The Alps are the birthplace of downhill skiing and a crucible for mountain climbers everywhere _ and now the French government is trying to help towns at the heart of the lucrative tourism industry adapt to a warming world. (AP Photo/David Azia,File)

FILE – In this file photo taken on Oct. 12, 2011, an alpinist heads down a ridge on the Aiguille du Midi (3,842 meters; 12 605 feet), towards the Vallee Blanche on the Mont Blanc massif, in the Alps, near Chamonix, France. The Alps are the birthplace of downhill skiing and a crucible for mountain climbers everywhere _ and now the French government is trying to help towns at the heart of the lucrative tourism industry adapt to a warming world. (AP Photo/David Azia,File)

PARIS (AP) — The Alps are the birthplace of downhill skiing and a crucible attracting mountain climbers from everywhere — and now the French government is trying to help towns at the heart of the lucrative tourism industry adapt to a warming world.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Friday is visiting the Sea of Ice on Mont Blanc, where the retreating glacier has been marked over more than a century. It’s been a major tourist attraction since the 19th century, and scientists say the area is becoming increasingly unstable.

Ski stations at mid-altitude are particularly vulnerable to increasingly inconsistent snow, threatening jobs in a region that depends heavily on tourism. Valls is visiting the region to highlight France’s role as host in the global summit on climate change in November.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

Advertisements