The Snowy River Shire Council is considering the implications of recent climate change reports, which show the shire’s key industries could melt away.

The updated figures released last week from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says Australia will see an increase of six degrees on its highest temperatures over the next 90 years. That kind of temperature increase could cripple the Snowy Mountains’ ski tourism industry.

“If the snow bank is substantially influenced of course that will adversely affect the numbers of people that visit the mountains and it will limit their ability to lengthen the season by such processes as making snow,” Snowy River Shire Mayor, John Cahill said.

Mayor Cahill says local farmers will have to take heed as well.

“A great majority of the Monaro area is in a rain shadow area and has a very low rainfall to start with,” he said.

“In our shire we have areas down as low as 400mm, in drought years much below that as well,”

“Any further reduction on that will greatly affect the number of stock we can run and that will have a great effect on the living capacity of landholders.”

Councillor Cahill has highlighted the need for environmentally-reliant industries to sit up and take notice of the shifting planetary paradigm.

“Our two major industries, the snow season of course and agriculture, will both be adversely affected if the projections come to fruition,” he said.

The Snowy Rivers Council will certainly not be last to have to consider the changing climate in future planning, with several others worried about the impact of rising sea levels on coastal communities and the propensity for even greater damage in all areas due to extreme weather events.