Impacts of Climate Change on Australia Alps’ Ski Industry

1078 WordsFeb 20, 20184 Pages
The changing nature of snow cover as a result of alpine climate change is a modern phenomenon that climate scientists are beginning to understand. Declining snow depth and duration have serious implications for Australia’s ski industry, in particular the longevity of the industry. This essay discusses the impacts of alpine climate change on snow cover, adaption strategies to sustain the industry’s economy as well as the unsustainable nature of snowmaking as a long term solution. Limitations on water and energy resource make snowmaking problematic as a substitute for natural snow. The essay highlights the unsustainability of snowmaking as a short-term solution, and raises concerns of the longevity of the ski industry. Currently, the Australian ski industry comprises of ten operational ski resorts (Figure 1) with “0.15% of the continent” (Green and Pickering 2009, p. 271) regularly receiving snow due to the low attitude of mountains. Consequently, decline in snow cover on top of limited snow availability pose significant difficulties to the longevity of the ski industry. Effects of Climate Change Impact on ski industry Possible solutions Decreased snow cover ↓ snow depth and duration ↑ snowmaking to substitute natural with artificial snow Temperature ↓ snow cover – cascading cycle Biodiversity & vegetation Affects winter & summer tourism Opportunity for summer tourism Water scarcity ↓ efficiency of snowmaking; ↑ cost and competition Use summer tourism to balance the
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