Blame it on climate change.
The Study, University of Waterloo
Recent studies from October 2007 made by the University of Waterloo’s Department of Geography have projected that beginning as early as the year 2010, snowmobiling will become less possible due to shorter seasons through to approximately 2040 when it will likely be eliminated.
Geoff McBoyle, Daniel Scott and Brenda Jones were the publishers of this study and made projects based on low and high greenhouse gas emissions scenarios. From 2010 to 2039, snowmobiling season will be reduced from 11 to 68%. From 2040 to 2069, snowmobiling will be eliminated, all due to climate change.
Snowmobiling in Canada
The reason for the decrease and inevitable elimination of snowmobiling is that unlike alpine skiing and snowboarding activities, snowmobiling requires a minimum of 15 cm of adequate fresh and natural snow. 30 years of data (1961 to 1990) was used from 13 sites across Canada including the Prairies, Ontario, Quebec and the East Coast. Snowmobiling seasons averaged from 18 days in Nova Scotia to 100 days in Ontario.
Currently, the snowmobiling industry in Canada represents approximately $6 billion (USD) in goods and services. The effect of inadequate weather conditions is being seen in the increase of ATV sales in conjunction with the decrease of snowmobile sales from 2000 to 2003.
While projections in best case scenario are minimal, it is thought that decreases by the 2050s are projected to be about 90 to 100%.
All the more reason to fight climate change!
Source: McBoyle, G., D. Scott, and B. Jones. (2007). Climate change and the future of snowmobiling in non-mountainous regions of Canada. Managing Leisure, 12: 237-250.