Climate change poses varied, and surprising, implications for social systems. We investigate one of those possible effects—the impact of a warming climate on outdoor ice availability and the social implications for hockey player development in the North Country region of New York. We approach this topic by applying a 10,000-hour budget of practice hours needed to become an expert player and assess the amount of outdoor ice available to meet that budget under two future warming scenarios. Our results show that the current amount outdoor ice hours available to a developing player remain the same at the end of the century under a low-emissions scenario equivalent to the targets set under the Paris Agreement. We also show that no outdoor ice would available for future player development at century’s end under a high emissions scenario, or the current greenhouse gas emissions pathway. These changes have implications for the regional identity of the North Country as a focal point of elite hockey development.



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