Snow days? Snowmaking adaptation and the future of low latitude, high elevation skiing in Arizona, USA

Bark, Rosalind H. ORCID:, Colby, B. G. and Dominguez, F. (2010) Snow days? Snowmaking adaptation and the future of low latitude, high elevation skiing in Arizona, USA. Climatic Change, 102 (3). pp. 467-491. ISSN 0165-0009

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Inter-annual snow reliability is a key short-term concern for Arizona's high elevation, low latitude ski resorts. Variability is linked to the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-warm phase conditions typically portend a good ski season and vice versa. To operate more consistently in the medium-term Arizona's two largest ski resorts plan to expand snowmaking. Snowmaking is a water and temperature constrained adaptation. One of the two resorts has overcome its water constraint by contracting with a municipality for treated wastewater. To assess the temperature constraint downscaled global coupled climate model temperature projections were compared to technical thresholds for the manufacture of snow at three time steps. In 2030, a period coincident with the lifetime of the investments, snowmaking will likely remain feasible. However, by 2050, temperatures will likely exceed technical thresholds in the shoulder seasons meaning that in years when natural snowfalls are poor the ski season may be curtailed. By 2080, without snowmaking efficiency improvements, warmer temperatures will make snowmaking increasingly more expensive and resort managers may need to plan for a future where operations and snowmaking are shifted to higher elevation, shaded, more snow reliable runs.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: Acknowledgements This research was funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Assessment in the Southwest (CLIMAS) Variability, Social Vulnerability, and Public Policy in the SW US States: A Proposal for Regional Assessment Activities grant. Contract No.: NA16GP2578. Thanks to C. Thornbrugh and W. Veatch for providing references.
Uncontrolled Keywords: global and planetary change,atmospheric science,sdg 13 - climate action ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2300/2306
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Environmental Social Sciences
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2021 01:57
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2022 03:20
DOI: 10.1007/s10584-009-9708-x

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