Sweden councils spend millions on creating snow

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Roger Hedlund is in charge of the snow supply at the Östersund ski stadium. (Fredrik Vestberg/Radio Sweden)
Sweden is having another winter without much of the white stuff, but local councils are taking the matter in their own hands. Over the past five years they have paid over SEK 200 million to create snow for local ski tracks and slopes.

One in three local councils in Sweden today owns snow cannons, according to a survey carried out by Swedish Radio P4 Jämtland. The survey found that over the past five years, local councils have spent over SEK 200 million to create snow.

Östersund in northern Sweden is one of the councils that has invested most of the tax payers’ money on this. Over the past few years, the council has bought snow cannons for over SEK 8 million, and set up a special storage place where it is hoped that some 60,000 cubic metres of snow can be kept over the summer.

“The snow storage is a direct consequence of climate change,” writes Östersund council in a statement, “as we otherwise would not be able to manage to have snow for the pre-season training at the beginning of November and to the premiere of the Biathlon World Cup in November/December.”

The survey includes answers from 255 out of Sweden’s 290 local councils.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Arctic sea ice hits new record winter low, Radio Canada International

Finland: Finland’s Arctic Lapland region still awaiting first “official” snow of the season, Yle News

Greenland:  Arctic sea ice, Greenland and Europe’s weird weather, Blog by Irene Quaile, Deutsche Welle

Norway: January sea ice extent at record low in Barents and Kara seas, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: 2016, warmest year on record in Russian Arctic, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Storm Helga weather warning for Sweden, Radio Sweden

United States: Ice extent still well below normal in Arctic, Alaska Dispatch News

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