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Climate Change and Alps Ski Resorts

This study considers the impact of climate change on snow conditions and snowmaking in the French Alps. Give that the Alps are one of the top ski tourism destinations in the world, their importance for sport and tourism cannot be ignored. Climate models were created and applied to ski areas of the Alps to project snow conditions in the future which account for the impact of warming average global temperatures. At the present, artificial snowmaking is required at times to sustain conditions favorable for skiing. If the average global temperatures are kept from climbing above 2°C, then snowmaking conditions should remain viable, but if average global temperatures climb above the 3°C benchmark, then snowmaking conditions will become unreliable. In such a circumstance, more snow would need to be produced artificially, which will require increased demand for water resources.

CITE: Spandre, P., François, H., Verfaillie, D., Lafaysse, M., Déqué, M., Eckert, N., George, E. & Morin, S. (2019). Climate controls on snow reliability in French Alps ski resorts. Scientific Reports, 9, 8043.


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