Impact of climate change on natural snow reliability, snowmaking capacities, and wind conditions of ski Resorts in Northeast Turkey: a dynamical downscaling approach
Demiroğlu, Osman Cenk
Turp, Mustafa Tufan
Kurnaz, Mehmet Levent
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Many ski resorts worldwide are going through deteriorating snow cover conditions due to anthropogenic warming trends. As the natural and the artificially supported, i.e., technical, snow reliability of ski resorts diminish, the industry approaches a deadlock. For this reason, impact assessment studies have become vital for understanding vulnerability of ski tourism. This study considers three resorts at one of the rapidly emerging ski destinations, Northeast Turkey, for snow reliability analyses. Initially one global circulation model is dynamically downscaled by using the regional climate model RegCM4.4 for 1971-2000 and 2021-2050 periods along the RCP4.5 greenhouse gas concentration pathway. Next, the projected climate outputs are converted into indicators of natural snow reliability, snowmaking capacity, and wind conditions. The results show an overall decline in the frequencies of naturally snow reliable days and snowmaking capacities between the two periods. Despite the decrease, only the lower altitudes of one ski resort would face the risk of losing natural snow reliability and snowmaking could still compensate for forming the base layer before the critical New Year's week. On the other hand, adverse high wind conditions improve as to reduce the number of lift closure days at all resorts. Overall, this particular region seems to be relatively resilient against climate change.