Journal article

Climate change effects on snow conditions in mainland Australia and adaptation at ski resorts through snowmaking

KJ Hennessy, PH Whetton, K Walsh, IN Smith, JM Bathols, M Hutchinson, J Sharples

CLIMATE RESEARCH | INTER-RESEARCH | Published : 2008

Abstract

We examined the effects of past and future climate change on natural snow cover in southeastern mainland Australia and assessed the role of snowmaking in adapting to projected changes in snow conditions. Snow-depth data from 4 alpine sites from 1957 to 2002 indicated a weak decline in maximum snow depths at 3 sites and a moderate decline in mid- to late-season snow depths (August to September). Low-impact and high-impact climate change scenarios were prepared for 2020 and 2050 and used as input for a climate-driven snow model. The total area with an average of at least 1 d of snow cover per year was projected to decrease by 10 to 39% by 2020, and by 22 to 85 % by 2050. By 2020, the length of..

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