Models predict less rain and snow |

Models predict less rain and snow

Allen Best

DENVER – New computer models forecast 17 percent less rain and snow in the American West in coming years as a result of global warming, even as the Canada Rockies gain more precipitation.The two new studies link less precipitation in the storm track that delivers snow in Utah and Colorado with dwindling ice in the Arctic. About 20 percent of ice in the Arctic is expected to melt by mid-century, given current trends. With the ice gone, warmer temperatures will prevail toward the North Pole, changing regional pressure systems and causing jet streams to veer northward. That will be to the gain of the ski resorts near Banff, Revelstoke, and other towns along the TransCanada Highway.The new projections, reports The Denver Post, are based on eight climate models done by researchers from the University of California at Santa Cruz.Whistler discussing big-box banWHISTLER, British Columbia – Whistler has commenced a full-bore discussion about the merits of allowing big-box retailers. Precipitating the discussion are plans by a firm called London Drugs to open an 18,000-square-foot store. Only a handful of stores in Whistler are larger than 5,000 square feet, and the largest, a grocery store, is only 25,000 square feet.Town planners, apparently at the municipal council’s invitation, have submitted a proposal to ban businesses of more than 5,000 square feet. Opposing the ban are those who would welcome larger chain stores and the generally lower prices they can afford local residents. They also argue that this is an unwise restraint on free trade. They argue there’s room for both the chains and the mom-and-pop local stores.Supporters say that if Whistler is to retain its distinctiveness, making it unlike the places where tourists typically come from, then it should deliberately exclude the chains.Of course, Intrawest, the owner of the Whistler and Blackcomb ski areas, is a big chain ski area operator, so the argument goes only so far.Vail, Colorado

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