Modeling climate change effects on winter ski tourism in Andorra
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Mountain regions have been identiﬁed as especially vulnerable areas to climate change. Changes in snowfall, glacier retreat and shifts in biodiversity amount and distribution are some examples of the sensitivity of mountain ecosystems. Moreover, in many mountain economies, reliable snow cover plays a key role as an important resource for the winter tourism industry, the main income source and driving force of local development in such regions. This study presents a georeferenced agent-based model to analyze the climate change impacts on the ski industry in Andorra and the effect of snowmaking as future adaptation strategy. The present study is the ﬁrst attempt to analyze the ski industry in the Pyrenees region and will contribute to a better understanding of the vulnerability of Andorran ski resorts and the suitability of snowmaking as potential adaptation strategy to climate change. This study projects a reduction on the ski season length and the drop of the number of skiers especially in the lowest elevation ski resort of this region. Moreover, this work indicates that snowmaking cannot completely solve the problem of ensuring snow cover at low elevation ski resorts and should be considered as a suitable short-term strategy, but not as a sustainable long-term adaptation strategy. The resulting model can be used as a planning support tool to help local stakeholders understand the vulnerability and potential impacts of climate change and in the decision-making process of designing and developing appropriate sustainable adaptation strategies to future climate variability
CitationPons, M. [et al.]. Modeling climate change effects on winter ski tourism in Andorra. "Climate research", 11 Octubre 2012, vol. 54, núm. 3, p. 197-207.