Will climate change bring an end to a regular ski season on B.C. coastal mountains?

WATCH: Higher than average temperatures are resulting in lower than average snow pack, a bigger problem than we might think. Elaine Yong reports.

Temperatures across the province have been above average this winter resulting in a lower than normal snowpack on many mountains across B.C.

Of the 53 ski runs on Cypress Mountain, only nine were open on Monday and much of the snow on the slopes was man-made.

And experts say it’s a question of when, not if, we will see an end to a regular ski season on our coastal mountains.

Back in 2007, UBC researchers created a model that illustrated a receding snowline, but they now say we have already exceeded the worst case scenario of greenhouse gas emissions and it’s getting worse.

David Flanders of the UBC Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning says trendlines are “pointing in the same direction and it’s gradually getting more and more extreme.”

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While mid-January has everyone focused on snow, the ripple effects are already being seen.

There have been a series of large rainstorms in B.C. that have caused widespread flooding.

“We can expect more of that, I’m afraid, with changes in precipitation and warming,” says Stephen Sheppard of the UBC Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning. “That’s a direct result of the same things that cause the snowpack to decline.”

Scientists have been calling for drastic action on climate change for decades though not many seem to be listening.

Many mountains resort to man-made snow, which in itself contributes to global warming and in turn makes the problem even worse.

WATCH: Above average temperatures have meant a wet winter so far, resulting in a snowpack that’s far below normal. Experts say this is a sign of what’s to come. Chris Steinkamp of ‘Protect our Winters’  in Colorado joins Global News with more.

-with files from Elaine Yong


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