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Willibald, Fabian; Kotlarski, Sven; Ebner, Pirmin Philipp; Bavay, Mathias; Marty, Christoph; Trentini, Fabian V.; Ludwig, Ralf and Gret-Regamey, Adrienne (2021): Vulnerability of ski tourism towards internal climate variability and climate change in the Swiss Alps. In: Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 784, 147054

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Increasing temperatures and snow scarcity pose a serious threat to ski tourism. While the impacts of climate change on ski tourism have been elaborated extensively, little is known so far on the vulnerability of winter tourism towards both internal climate variability and climate change. We use a 50-member single model large ensemble from a regional climate model to drive the physically-based snowpack model SNOWPACK for eight stations across the Swiss Alps to model daily snow depth, incorporating both natural snow conditions and including technical snow production. We make a probabilistic assessment of the vulnerability of ski tourism towards internal climate variability in a future climate by analyzing selected tourism-related snow indicators and find significant overall decrease in snow reliability in the future. Further, we show how the sensitivity towards internal climate variability differs among different tourism-related snow indicators and find that certain indicators are more vulnerable to internal climate variability than others. We show that technical snow production is an appropriate adaptation strategy to tackle risks from climate change and internal climate variability. While technical snow production can drastically reduce uncertainties related to internal climate variability, in low elevations, the technique reaches its limits to counteract global warming by the mid of the century. (c) 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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