For the very first time, experts of European weather and environment research institutions have provided a joint paper on the impacts of environment change on winter season sports. The initiators are the Stiftung Sicherheit im Skisport (SIS, Foundation for Safety of Ski Sports), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (SET), and the German Sport University Perfume (DSHS).
In their joint position paper and another publication, more than 20 specialist researchers from 14 research organizations for the first time summarize the current state of research. They verify essential statements for the Alpine area and the low mountain ranges in Germany, mention knowledge deficits, and suggest actions. “Conversation on environment modification and its impacts requires an objective, reasonable discussion of facts. We have actually been successful in developing a joint position and clear statements together with other researchers from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland,” says Professor Karl-Friedrich Ziegahn, Head of Division IV– Natural and Constructed Environment of SET.
At the Atmospheric Environmental Research Division of the Institute of Meteorology and Environment Research Study of SET (IMK-IFU), PACKAGE’s School Alpine, researchers of KIT study capacity effects of climate change on mountain regions among others. “For Alpine regions in specific, we presume an extremely fast and comprehensive environment modification. Both observation time series of the past and our environment computations for the future reveal a higher temperature boost. The existing climate and greenery zones will transfer to higher elevations and also snow conditions will alter,” says the Head of IMK-IFU, Professor Hans Peter Schmid.
The position paper is a result of the expert forum Klima.Schnee.Sport (climate.snow.sports) that happened at the environmental research study station Schneefernerhaus/Zugspitze in October 2018 and in Ruhpolding in January2019 The online forum was hosted by SIS, SET, and DSHS.
Position Paper– Summary of Selected Findings
The specialists concur on the expectation that the annual mean temperature level in the Alpine area and in the low mountain ranges will increase by at least another two degrees Celsius by the end of this century. The increase in temperature level will impact all seasons. Just when radical emission decrease steps will be executed as detailed in the Paris Environment Defense Arrangement of 2015, will this temperature increase be smaller sized.
Environment change and its influence on winter season sports of tourists and top-class professional athletes alike will be connected with changed framework conditions and uncertainties, the experts say.
As a consequence of warming, the natural snow cover used for snow sports will pull away to medium altitudes in the Alpine region and in the low mountain ranges in the long term (by 2100). The duration of the snow cover will be shorter by weeks in late winter and by a little less in early winter season. The months of January and February, the most important months for winter tourist, will not be a lot affected in these areas. Likewise climatological structure conditions for technical snow production will change. The number and duration of prospective snow times will reduce.
Declarations relating to the near future (till 2050) are more difficult to make, as the partly high natural climate irregularity superimposes the long-lasting trend. These strong fluctuations might likewise superimpose the gradual increase in mean temperature level by 2050.
The mix of variability and consistent warming, nevertheless, will lead to brand-new optimal temperatures. Rainfall irregularity will be very high, as a result of which it is challenging to identify clear patterns.
In parallel, winter season sports, together with the related items and deals, will even more develop under the impact of climate modification. Regional adaptation of winter season sports to climate modification will not take location in a vacuum, however be embedded in dynamic processes on numerous levels of regional sectors and markets.
Winter sports associations, winter season sports places, mountain villages, and cableway companies will be offered the opportunity to actively deal with the difficulty of “ environment change” by taking procedures to adapt to potential effects and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the experts state. To protect and additional develop winter sports, technological and organizational developments as well as a diversity of the offers are required. Use of renewable resource sources should be reinforced and energy and resource effectiveness should be improved in all winter season sports sectors. For sustainable development, it will be of increasing importance to establish collaborations, networks, and information exchange systems on all levels. According to the professionals, stars will have to establish techniques to improve durability and adaptation of winter season sports and improve its development capabilities.
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