Resources Science ›› 2020, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (6): 1210-1222.doi: 10.18402/resci.2020.06.17

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Impact of snow-making technology improvement on ski season length in China under climate change

FANG Yan1(), Daniel SCOTT2, Robert STEIGER3, WU Bihu4(), JIANG Yiyi1   

  1. 1. School of Recreational Sports and Tourism, Beijing Sport University, Beijing 100084, China
    2. Geography and Environmental Management, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario N2L3G1, Canada
    3. Department of Public Finance, University of Innsbruck, Innrain 526020 Innsbruck, Austria
    4. International Center for Recreation and Tourism Research, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2019-07-25 Revised:2020-01-16 Online:2020-06-25 Published:2020-08-25
  • Contact: WU Bihu;


Under global warming conditions, artificial snowmaking has proved to be an effective adaptation measure to climate change for ski resorts. Based on the surface climate dataset (1981-2010) and new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) RCPs scenarios, this study assessed the impact of snow-making technology improvement (snow could be produced at -2℃ rather than -5℃) on ski season length in China under climate change using the SkiSim 2.0 model. The results show that average ski season length in China would increase by 3%~12% with improved snowmaking machine, and 78% of ski areas in China could maintain a ski season of over 100 days even under the RCP 8.5 scenario in the 2080s. Ski resorts that are highly affected by climate change (for example, north, east and central regions) would receive more benefits from new technology than slightly affected areas (for example, northeast and northwest). Furthermore, geographical environmental conditions are the fundamental factors that affect the length of ski season. No matter whether snow-making technology is improved or not, the dividing line for 100-day ski season in China under climate change is Changbai Mountain-Yinshan Mountain-Qilian Mountain-Tianshan Mountain. For mitigating and adapting to climate change, more attention should be paid to technological innovation in artificial snowmaking to ensure sustainable development of China’s ski industry from the supply side.

Key words: climate change, ski resort, technology improvement, mitigation measures, SkiSim 2.0, China