Background and Goals
In the Central German Uplands winter sport tourism has traditionally been the most important economic sector that significantly influenced the economic prosperity and the development of mountain regions. Adaptation to the expected climate change and climate impacts in winter sports is absolutely essential for planning concepts and planning tasks.
The following questions are crucial:
- Which spatial changes of snow cover distribution have to be expected in the wintersport areas?
- Which areas will be available for winter sports on a given period of time?
- How can "stranded investments" be avoided in this context?
- Which adaptation strategies can be developed for the Central German Uplands?
The project GIS-Klischee has the target to estimate the local snow potential on the basis of measured and projected climate data, relief parameters, surface types, wind flow fields and radiation using satellite imagery. The impacts on winter sport tourism will be assesed on probable change scenarios precisely for an area, derived from regional climate model calculations. The inclusion of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) enables the integration of data in existing infrastructure, ecological precedence areas and economic parameters, to creat an expert system, which can be used for spatial planning. Investment decisions can be prepared and different adaptation strategies can be suggested depending on the modelled snow cover availability.
- Lower Saxony
- Rhineland Palatinate
- Central low mountain ranges and Harz
Steps in the process of adaptation to climate change
Step 1: Understand and describe climate change
In a spatial differentiated approach GIS-KliSchee combines the conditions of natural landscapes considering relief, snow potential and snow cover distribution with protected areas for nature and landscape and other anthropogenic spatial elements.
Beside the specific combination of accurately representation of the snow potential, anthropogenic landscape structure and infrastructure the following points are methodically new:
- the use of a meteorological model for the assessment of the snow potential in the mesoscale range (<3 km spatial resolution), supplemented by the
- terrain climatological differentiation of snow sports potential to make the inclusion of remote sensing data, which allows statements for snow potential on a sub-kilometre scale (<250 m) and
- conflating all decisive data sets and parameters in an expert system.
- Altered rainfall patterns
- Higher average temperatures
- Extreme precipitation (incl. hail, snow)
Step 2a: Identify and assess risks - climate effects and impact
The project focuses on the climatic changes to be expected in snow sports in the Central German Uplands.
Step 3: Develop and compare measures
The integration into a Geographic Information System (GIS) enables the integration of data in existing infrastructure, ecological priority areas and economic parameters, to create a spatial planning expert system. With this decisions on investments can be prepared and - depending on the snow potential – several adaptation strategies can be suggested. In a spatial differentiated approach GIS-KliSchee combines the conditions of natural landscapes considering relief, snow potential and snow cover distribution with protected areas for nature and landscape and other anthropogenic spatial elements. Thereby a differentiated planning instrument is created fto support the further development of winter sports regions.
Funding programme “klimazwei – research for climate protection and protection from climate impacts”, Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Germany
Geografisches Institut: RWTH Aachen
Meteorologisches Institut: Universität Bonn
Deutsche Sporthochschule Köln Institut für Natursport und Ökologie.