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Climate change threatens winter recreation

Jessie Diggins competes during the 2018 Olympics.
Jessie Diggins of the United States competes during the cross-country ladies' sprint classic qualification at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics at Alpensia Cross-Country Centre in 2018.
Adam Pretty | Getty Images 2018

Minnesotan Jessie Diggins is having quite a year. She was the first American to win the Tour de Ski. And this week, she’s competing in the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships.

But when she’s not taking home gold, Diggins is outspoken about how climate change is affecting the sport. She’s one of many professional winter athletes who have spoken out in recent years to “save winter.”

“Now because of human-caused changes to the climate, we are seeing shorter ski seasons and the quality of our snow is also changing,” said Twila Moon, an avid skier and research scientist with the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Moon said light, fluffy snow is going to become more rare, replaced by the heavy, wet snow we currently see in the West. Out there, it will be replaced with more rain.

Moon spoke with MPR News chief meteorologist Paul Huttner on Climate Cast. Click play on the audio player above or subscribe to the Climate Cast podcast to hear their conversation.

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