March 21, 2012 at 2:37 PM ET
Ski season 2011-2012 for many adrenaline junkies in the U.S. is rotten, thanks to unseasonable warmth in the Northeast and below average snowfall in much of Utah, Colorado, and California.
What's to blame? Global warming? La Nina? Natural variability? Whatever the reason, Swedish skiers got sick of the trend of reduced snowfall and took matters into their own hands: They convinced an architecture firm to design an indoor ski park that will be powered by green energy.
Construction of the nearly U.S. $3 billion Skipark 360° is slated to begin at the end of 2013, according to the firm, C.F. Mǿller Architects, Berg Arkitektkontor.
The marquee structure is the 2,300-foot long slope with a 525-foot vertical drop, big enough, the group says, to make it the "only indoor ski slope in the world to meet the requirements for hosting the World Cup."
Solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal sources of energy will meet its anticipated 10 million kilowatt-hours of energy a year – a nice feature given that rising consumption of fossil fuel energy is "very likely" to blame for the changes in the global climate that are making snowfall scarcer in some parts of the world.
The facility, which will also include a cross-country track and a snowboard park, will be open year round. It is being built about 45 minutes outside of Stockholm and expected to attract 550,000 visitors a year.
For skiers and snowboarders who'd rather get a face full of power in the great outdoors, head to the Pacific Northwest. Despite snow woes elsewhere in the country, Washington's Mt. Baker, for example, reports a 258 inch base and season total, as of March 14, of 654 inches.
-- via PopSci
-- John Roach is a contributing writer for msnbc.com. To learn more about him, check out his website and follow him on Twitter. For more of our Future of Technology series, watch the featured video below.