Title Glaciers, snow and ski tourism in Austria's changing climate
Author Fischer, A.; Olefs, M.; Abermann, J.
Author Affil Fischer, A., University of Innsbruck, Institute of Meteorology and Geophysics, Innsbruck, Austria
Source Annals of Glaciology, 52(58), p.89-96, . Publisher: International Glaciological Society, Cambridge, United Kingdom. ISSN: 0260-3055
Publication Date 2011
Notes In English. 40 refs. GeoRef Acc. No: 310206
Index Terms ablation; climatic change; glaciers; glacier ablation; mass balance; snow; snow cover; statistical analysis; volume; Austria-- Mittelbergferner; Austria--Obergurgl; Alps-- Stubai; adaptation; Alps; Austria; Central Europe; climate change; cryosphere; deglaciation; Eastern Alps; Europe; inventory; Mittelbergferner Austria; Obergurgl Austria; Otztal Alps; probability; seasonal variations; ski resorts; Stubai Alps; tourism; Tyrol Austria
Abstract This study illustrates the relevance of cryospheric changes for, and their impact on, ski tourism in Austria. The results of several case studies on snow reliability, snow production and mass balance in glacier ski resorts in the Otz and Stubai valleys are summarized. Climate data from Obergurgl (1936 ma.s.l.) in the Otz valley are analyzed with respect to the amount and duration of natural snow cover and the possibility of snow production. A case study on Mittelbergferner focuses on the impacts of glacial recession on a ski resort and possible adaptation measures. From long-term glacier inventory and short-term mass-balance data, the effect of operating ski resorts on glaciers is investigated. At Obergurgl, the probability of both snow cover and snow production is 80% from December to March and decreases significantly in the months before and after this peak season. The interannual variability of snow cover and production is low during the main season and higher in other months. Year-to-year differences are larger than any long-term trend. Glacier ski resorts must adapt to shrinking glacial area and falling glacier surface. Covering the glacier with textiles reduces ablation by 60% and results in significantly less volume loss than on uncovered parts of the glacier. Neither the mass-balance comparison between groomed and ungroomed areas nor the comparison of long- term volume changes between 10 ski resort glaciers and 100 surrounding glaciers showed evidence for an impact of the operation of ski resorts on the glaciers.
URL http://www.igsoc.org/annals/v52/58/a58A002.pdf
Publication Type journal article
Record ID 65007357