Regional Environmental Change

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 4–14 | Cite as

The impact of global warming on winter tourism and skiing: a regionalised model for Austrian snow conditions

  • M. Breiling
  • P. Charamza
Original article


Possible climate change will modify snow-cover depth and change the characteristics of winter tourism and skiing districts. Our model describes seasonal snow-cover depth related to altitude in six Alpine climate regions as the best fit of all snow stations. Data cover 30 winter seasons (November to April values) from 1965 to 1995. We modified the data according to a scenario of temperature and precipitation change (2 °C warming, no precipitation change) and achieve a new simulated snow-cover depth. The indicators MARP (mean altitude of resident population) and MASPSL (mean altitude of starting point of ski lifts) serve as references for “critical altitudes” of Austrian districts. A warming implies a reduction of snow in all districts, but the loss is overproportional in lower altitudes. The direction of economic impacts is clear – income losses and adaptation costs – but magnitude and time frames remain uncertain.

Key words Regional climate modelling Climate impact research Winter tourism Skiing Snow Rural and regional planning 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Breiling
    • 1
  • P. Charamza
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory for Land Resource Sciences, Environmental and Biological Engineering Department, Graduate School for Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan e-mail: Tel.: +43-1-2907853; Fax: +43-1-2907853JP
  2. 2.Department of Mathematics, Charles University, Prague, Czech RepublicCZ

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