Top PDF Economic impacts of climate change on water resources in the coterminous United States

Economic impacts of climate change on water resources in the coterminous United States

Economic impacts of climate change on water resources in the coterminous United States

Abstract A national-scale simulation-optimization model was created to generate estimates of economic impacts associated with changes in water supply and demand as influenced by climate change. Water balances were modeled for the 99 assessment sub-regions, and are presented for 18 water resource regions in the United States. Benefit functions are developed for irrigated agriculture, municipal and domestic water use, commercial and industrial water use, and hydroelectric power generation. Environmental flows below minimal levels required for environmental needs are assessed a penalty. As a demonstration of concept for the model, future climate is projected using a climate model ensemble for two greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions scenarios: a business-as-usual (BAU) scenario in which no new GHG controls are implemented, and an exemplary mitigation policy (POL) scenario in which future GHG emissions are mitigated. Damages are projected to grow less during the 21st century under the POL scenario than the BAU scenario. The largest impacts from climate change are projected to be on non-consumptive uses (e.g., environmental flows and hydropower) and relatively lower-valued consumptive uses (e.g., agriculture), as water is reallocated during reduced water availability conditions to supply domestic, commercial, and industrial uses with higher mar- ginal values. Lower GHG concentrations associated with a mitigation policy will result in a smaller rise in temperature and thus less extensive damage to some water resource uses. However, hydropower, environmental flow penalty, and agriculture were shown to be sensitive to the change in runoff as well.
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Projections of economic impacts of climate change in agriculture in Europe

Projections of economic impacts of climate change in agriculture in Europe

Adaptation options at the local level and regional level are extensive (Burton and Lim, 2005; Easterling et al., 2003). For example, at the local level adaptation initiati- ves may combine water efficiency initiatives, engineering and structural improve- ments to water supply infrastructure, agriculture policies and urban planning/mana- gement. At the national/regional level, priorities include placing greater emphasis on integrated, cross-sectoral water resources management, using river basins as resource management units, and encouraging sound and management practices. Given increa- sing demands, the prevalence and sensitivity of many simple water management sys- tems to fluctuations in precipitation and runoff, and the considerable time and ex- pense required to implement many adaptation measures, the agriculture and water resources sectors in many areas and countries will remain vulnerable to climate va- riability. Water management is partly determined by legislation and co-operation among government entities, within countries and internationally; altered water supply and demand would call for a reconsideration of existing legal and cooperative arrangements.
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Socio-economic Impacts of Climate Change
on Rural United States

Socio-economic Impacts of Climate Change on Rural United States

For the past century, total precipitation has increased by about 7%, while the heaviest 1% of rain events increased by approximately 20% (Gutowski et al. 2008). In general, IPCC climate models agree that northern areas are likely to get wetter and southern areas drier (Karl et al. 2009). Impacts of climate change on water resources could result in increasing incidences of droughts, changing precipitation intensity and runoff, lower availability of water for irrigation, changing water demands, and lower water availability for energy production in some regions particularly the Southwest. Limitations imposed on water supply by projected temperature increases in the region are likely to be made worse by substantial reductions in rain and snowfall in the spring months (Milly et al. 2008). The number of dry days between precipitation events is also projected to increase in the Southwest and the Mountain West. Continued population growth in these arid and semi-arid regions could also stress water supplies, though the impact will be more severe for urban centers than rural counties. Floods are also projected to be more frequent and intense as regional and seasonal precipitation patterns change and rainfall becomes more concentrated in heavy events.
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Climate Change, Water Scarcity in Agriculture and The Country-Level Economic Impacts. A Multimarket Analysis

Climate Change, Water Scarcity in Agriculture and The Country-Level Economic Impacts. A Multimarket Analysis

Chile has a large endowment of water resources in both surface and groundwater. However, the water resources are characterized by a high variability in water supply, as well as an uneven distribution of water across the country. Water availability throughout the year is characterized by seasonal behavior, with high precipitation in the winter, and water shortages in the summer. Across regions, the mean annual rainfall varies between 0-10 millimeters in the northern desert, to more than 3,000 millimeters in the southern region. This uneven distribution has serious impacts on the water available for human consumption, as well as for the agricultural sector. Within the climatic context presented above, the total agricultural land (18.4 million ha) is divided as follows: 1.7 million ha of cultivated land, 14.03 million ha of grassland, and 2.7 million ha of forested land. Considering only the cultivated land (1.7 million ha), 76% is devoted to annual and permanent crops, while 23.5% is devoted to fodder (INE 2007).
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Climate Impacts on the Winter Tourism Economy in the United States

Climate Impacts on the Winter Tourism Economy in the United States

Matt Magnusson is an adjunct lecturer for the University of New Hampshire’s Whittemore School of Business and Economics. He is currently working toward earning his Ph.D. in the University of New Hampshire’s interdisciplinary Natural Resources and Earth Systems Science program and has a master’s of business administration degree. He drew on his work in environmental economics developing models of direct, indirect, and induced employment and economic activity to devise measures of employment dependence for the winter economy industry. Recent relevant research includes: “New Hampshire’s Green Economy and Industries: Current Employment and Future Opportunities,” completed for the Rockingham Economic Development Committee (REDC); “Economic Impact of Granite Reliable Power Wind Power Project in Coos County, New Hampshire,” completed for Granite Reliable Power, LLC; and an economic analysis of policies proposed in “The New Hampshire Climate Action Plan,” for the New Hampshire Climate Change Task Force.
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Uncertainty Modeling in The Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources Management

Uncertainty Modeling in The Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources Management

knowledge arises from a lack of information or understanding about biological, chemical and physical properties of climate variables and feedback relationships between these variables or due to inadequate analytical resources. “Unknowable” knowledge originates from the inability to predict future socio-economic and human behavior in a definitive manner or from the inherent unpredictability of the Earth’s systems. These cascades of uncertainty in any climate change impact study are interdependent but not necessarily additive or multiplicative way. Further, uncertainty due to future greenhouse gas emission scenarios is compounded when emission scenarios translate into atmospheric concentration because of inadequate knowledge regarding source, sink and recycling rates of GHGs in the Earth system. Additional uncertainty in the climate change impact assessment process arises from the structural, conceptual, and computational limitation of the GCMs (Gates et al., 1999). Finally, the outputs from assessment models (downscaling) are subject to uncertainties resulting from downscaling model structures and assumptions. Another source of uncertainty is added to the result if we simulate future streamflow using the downscaled climate variables as input to a hydrological model. There are multiple hydrologic models available and its parameterization has significant effects on projected stormflow (Najafi et al., 2011). Since uncertainties accumulate at various levels of climate change impact assessment process, their propagation at the regional or local level leads to large uncertainty ranges (Wilby, 2005; Minville et al., 2008).
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On the effects of hydrological uncertainty in assessing the impacts of climate change on water resources

On the effects of hydrological uncertainty in assessing the impacts of climate change on water resources

As mentioned in the AR4, there is increasing confidence that the increment in atmospheric green- house gas concentrations will lead to an increment of the global temperature; however, there is much less confidence about the quantification of the regional response of climate. As no method yet exists of providing confident predictions of climate change at the regional scale (IPCC DDC, 2010), climate scenarios are used as an alternative approach to identify the sensitivity of a system to climate change, and to help policy makers decide on appropriate policy responses. In this dis- sertation, a ”climate scenario” is used as ”a plausible future climate that has been constructed for explicit use in investigating the potential consequences of anthropogenic climate change” (Mearns et al., 2001). The main objective of using scenarios is not to be considered as ”predictions” of the future climate, but to explore some of the uncertainties arising from incomplete knowledge about the effect of increased atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases on global climate, in order to take in- formed decisions under a wide range of possible futures. Recently, Moss et al. (2010) describes a new parallel process for creating plausible scenarios for climate change research, aiming at im- proving society’s understanding of plausible climate and socio-economic futures. The IPCC has proposed 40 ”plausible” scenarios of future emissions (Naki´cenovi´c et al., 2000), which are consid- ered ”equally valid”, without an assignment of quantitative or qualitative likelihoods (see Schnei- der, 2002). These emissions scenarios are grouped into four major families, representing a different storyline of socio-economic, demographic and technological evolutions of our society. Emissions from six of these scenarios (A1T, A1F1, A1B, A2, B1, and B2) have been used to derive scenarios of future concentrations of greenhouse gases, which in turn are used to obtain projections of climate response, usually by running transient simulations of AOGCMs (Giorgi, 2005).
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Economic Impact of Climate Change on Water Resources

Economic Impact of Climate Change on Water Resources

cryospheric–hydrological model to quantify the upstream hydrological regimes of the Indus, Ganges, Brahmaputra, Salween and Mekong rivers. Subsequently, we analyse the impacts of climate change on future water availability in these basins using the latest climate model ensemble. Despite large differences in runoff composition and regimes between basins and between tributaries within basins, we project an increase in runoff at least until 2050 caused primarily by an increase in precipitation in the upper Ganges, Brahmaputra, Salween and Mekong basins and from accelerated melt in the upper Indus Basin. These findings have immediate consequences for climate change policies where a transition towards coping with intra-annual shifts in water availability is desirable.
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Impacts of Climate Change on Water Resources: Findings of The IPCC Regional Assessment of Vulnerability for North America

Impacts of Climate Change on Water Resources: Findings of The IPCC Regional Assessment of Vulnerability for North America

and Michaels (1994) reported that streamflow has increased throughout much of the conterminous United States since the early 1940's, with the increases primarily occurring in autumn and winter. Mekis and Hogg (1997) reported significant increases in annual precipitation and snow for most regions of Canada over the past 50 years. Anderson et al., (1991) analyzed data for 27 unregulated flow stations across Canada and showed a decrease in summer low flow, an increase in winter average and low flows, and little trend in seasonal maximum flows. In a study of unregulated rivers in Ontario and Alberta, Burn (1994) found a trend toward earlier spring snowmelt in many of the more northerly rivers. Reductions in the length of winter ice cover primarily due to earlier spring ice melts have also been observed for lakes and rivers in the nor thern United States. These trends are generally consistent with climate models that produce an enhanced hydrologic cycle with increasing atmospheric CO 2 ,
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Water as an economic resource and the impacts of climate change on the hydrosphere, regional economies and Scotland

Water as an economic resource and the impacts of climate change on the hydrosphere, regional economies and Scotland

There is increasing evidence that the global climate is changing and that this will have implications for the future of water resources. The impacts of climate change will be transmitted primarily via the global hydrosphere, whereby changes in rainfall patterns and the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather conditions (e.g., flood and drought) will result in significant challenges, including for the way we access, manage and use freshwater resources. In addition, water demand will continue to rise to support a growing global population and its resultant increases in food and energy needs. There are likely to be variations across the globe in climate change impacts and these will further exacerbate existing spatial disparities in water availability. Water is a critical component for all aspects of life, and is particularly significant in many economic activities (e.g. agriculture, energy etc.). Changes in water availability and hydrological extremes will impact at regional and global scales on economic activity, supply chains, key industries and migration. While all regions of the world will be impacted by climate- induced water stress, regions with robust water policies and water management strategies, or at the leading edge of water-technologies may see opportunities. Here, we discuss the projected impacts of climate change on water resources, and the challenges and opportunities this poses for economic activities in Scotland, including Scotland’s readiness to adapt to changes in water availability.
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Climate Change and Water Resources Management: A Federal Perspective

Climate Change and Water Resources Management: A Federal Perspective

irrigation, navigation support, hydropower, and environmental flows is a significant concern in regions throughout the United States. Potential climate change impacts affecting water avail- ability include changes in precipitation amount, intensity, timing, and form (rain or snow); changes in snowmelt tim- ing; and changes to evapotranspiration (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007a, b). The results from several general circulation models agree that the southwestern United States is likely to experience precipitation and evapotranspira- tion changes that result in less runoff and water availability (Milly and others, 200; Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007a). The prudent use of reservoir storage, as well as conjunctive surface-water and ground-water management, are strategies that water managers employ to optimize water availability. The existing water infrastructure may or may not be able to accommodate different amounts or temporal pat- terns of streamflow and still serve their intended purposes. In areas that experience a decrease in water availability, competi- tion for water among users will likely increase. Users with the lowest priority water rights are most likely to experience prob- lems. In these areas, decreased water supplies could adversely affect economic development, recreational opportunities, or habitat.
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Assessing water resources adaptive capacity to climate change impacts in the Pacific Northwest Region of North America

Assessing water resources adaptive capacity to climate change impacts in the Pacific Northwest Region of North America

A greater willingness to deviate from current practice has been apparent, however, in attempts to increase flexibility in the transfer of water between users in response to drought, using, for example, water markets or water banks (Fereday et al., 2009; WDOE, 2004). Such approaches have been tried with some success in recent decades in Idaho (Slaugh- ter, 2009). One explanation for the apparently greater will- ingness to consider changes in water law related to water transfers is that there is a potential economic benefit to indi- vidual water rights holders associated with the transfer water in times of shortage; whereas such benefits are not obvious in a shift to a fundamentally revised water allocation system. Taken together, this historical experience suggests that the Prior Appropriations Doctrine will probably remain in place as the foundation of western water law, but that attempts to increase flexibility in times of shortfall may follow increased water stress. Such approaches to climate change adapta- tion are also probably “no-regrets” strategies since drought is already a significant management issue. As discussed be- low, the sale of water rights as real property is another way of transferring water between users or uses in response to changing water availability, and such transfers do not require a change in existing law, except in the case where the pro- posed future use is prohibited by current law (e.g. not classi- fied as “beneficial” use). This caveat applies to some kinds of water transfers from water supply to instream flow in sup- port of ecosystem services, which are not always recognized as “beneficial” use. Large, complex water systems are ar- guably less flexible than their simpler, local-scale counter- parts because of bureaucratic constraints that are obstacles to change. Gray (1999), for example, showed that the rel- atively small and autonomous Seattle Water Supply System was able to incorporate new information about climate vari- ability into its operations much more rapidly than the larger, more institutionally complex, and more bureaucratically en- trenched system in place in the Yakima River basin in East- ern WA. Likewise, the dramatic increase in complexity of the Columbia River basin’s operating policies over the last 50 yr or so has been identified as an important obstacle to climate change adaptation because of the difficulty and cost of evaluating the integrated effects of increasing population, hydrologic changes, and other factors on a wide array of in- terconnected management objectives (Cohen et al., 2003)
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The Great Lapse: Climate Change, Water Resources and Economic Risks  in the Great Lakes

The Great Lapse: Climate Change, Water Resources and Economic Risks in the Great Lakes

To conduct this study, the author(s) completed 32 interviews with leading water scientists, climate scientists, and related experts across the Great Lakes region in the US and Canada, including 21 specialists in Great Lakes ecosystem health comprised of biologists, microbiologists, limnologists, hydrologists, and clima- tologists, as well as 11 leading economists and policy analysts on climate change in the Great Lakes. To comply with the International Review Board exemption for Human Subjects Research, the identity of the expert interviewees and their related institutions or agencies are protected consistent with legal regulations and ethical standards. In addition to the 32 indepth interviews of leading science experts and extensive curative archival research on over 200 articles on climate change in the Great Lakes, this study replicated the descriptive statistics of the leading articles on economic valuation and employment statistics, and it cites only those few studies that could be replicated and verified using the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Report to Congress and the President by the Environmen- tal Protection Agency [6] or the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages by the Bureau of Labor Statistics at the United States Department of Labor [7].
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Modeling the potential impacts of climate change on the water table level of selected forested wetlands in the   southeastern United States

Modeling the potential impacts of climate change on the water table level of selected forested wetlands in the southeastern United States

crease plant water use efficiency and thus the ET and wa- ter balance of wetlands (Brummer et al., 2012). The empiri- cal models do not explicitly simulate lateral water loss/gain from net groundwater flow (Johnston et al., 2005) and thus may cause simulation errors for certain wet periods. Thus, there is uncertainty regarding the hydrological response to extreme events such as extreme droughts or floods. In addi- tion, wetlands are not isolated, and thus a landscape approach is needed to accurately model water table changes. Although water table dynamics are also affected by site-specific fac- tors such as ditching/drainage, subsurface flow due to to- pographic differences, and local landscape hydrology, they were not considered explicitly as explanatory variables in our model. For example, in the AR wetland, future water ta- ble changes will also be impacted by the local hydrological change due to sea level rise (Miao, 2013). Our main objective was to evaluate the potential impacts of climate change on water table changes as forced primarily by changes in P and PET. We assume that the effects of other local site-specific factors are nonetheless taken into account indirectly by the coefficients (i.e., intercepts) of the models.
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Water as an economic resource and the impacts of climate change on the hydrosphere, regional economies and Scotland

Water as an economic resource and the impacts of climate change on the hydrosphere, regional economies and Scotland

regions. Scotland’s wet, maritime climate and abundant water resources places it in a uniquely secure position to prepare for future changes in water resource availability. As a result, economic opportunities will emerge for Scotland, yet as the summer months of 2018 demonstrated, negative economic consequences still feature when water resources are impacted by climatic shortfalls in typical water availability. It is imperative that utility managers, policy makers and end-users of water take steps to protect these resources against future environmental change. This challenge requires a combination of robust climate and water policies from national and regional governance and the adoption of new technology to better monitor water supply and demand. However, there is also a challenge for end-users; to modify their own behaviour around water consumption, particularly in regions like Scotland where water is evidently abundant currently. Behaviour change represents a key challenge for Scotland, especially as water is too often undervalued or taken for granted by users who have rarely encountered scarcity during their lifetime. Changes in price tariffs can positively influence consumption of resources such as water, but research also demonstrates that social norm nudges can also positively influence consumptive behaviour. This combination of policy- technology-behaviour change presents an opportunity to ensure that Scotland has a secure water-future, but also one that yields economic opportunities for new industries and supply chains accordingly and sets Scotland up as an example of a water-rich nation with progressive policies that seek to both utilise and conserve our water resources.
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Snow and albedo climate change impacts across the United States Northern Great Plains

Snow and albedo climate change impacts across the United States Northern Great Plains

of precipitation as snow has also been decreasing across the northeastern United States and the contiguous United States region (Huntington et al., 2004; Feng and Hu, 2007, respec- tively). Over some of the previously studied regions, there has been both an overall decrease in the amount of snow- fall and an increase in the amount of annual precipitation. These trends are correlated to winter temperature increases and are a cause for concern as snow cover acts as a control for summer soil-water storage and without long periods of snow cover, croplands like those found across the Northern Great Plains will become drier (Feng and Hu, 2007; Stew- art, 2009). Somewhere between 90 and 120 snow-covered days are observed in the Northern Great Plains, with a thin maximum SWE of between 20 and 40 mm. Brown and Mote (2009) used a number of climate models to simulate snow- pack changes and found that the largest decrease in the future was for snow-covered days, the maximum SWE decreased only a small amount.
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Climate Change and Impact on Water Resources

Climate Change and Impact on Water Resources

Although subject to uncertainty, forecasts of climatic change offer a glimpse into possible future water resource impacts and challenges. Predicted impacts vary by region, but include increased temperatures and evaporation rates; higher proportions of winter precipitation arriving as rain, not snow; earlier and more severe summer drought, and decreased water quality. Water shortages, which currently result in substantial economic losses, will be more common in many regions because of these impacts. Such economic losses, which occur across a range of sectors, from agriculture to energy and recreation, have profound effects on local communities. More frequent shortages imply increased costs to society, although adaptation by water users will mitigate some portion of these costs. Water resource users can reduce the negative effects of water shortages through a number of strategies. These include revising water storage and release programs for reservoirs, adopting crops and cropping practices that are robust over a wider spectrum of water availability, expanding and adjusting crop insurance programs (such as the Multi-Peril Crop Insurance program’s Prevented Planting Provision), adjusting water prices to encourage conservation and the expansion of water supply infrastructure, and supporting water transfer opportunities (India Meteorological Department; IMD, 2015).
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Modelling the impacts of projected future climate change on water resources in north west England

Modelling the impacts of projected future climate change on water resources in north west England

Much of the north of England relies on surface water resources because the geology of the north-west results in groundwater storage potential of only 15% (Fowler et al., 2003; Walker, 1998). Therefore, short-term summer drought, as well as longer droughts such as that in 1995–96, can have an extremely detrimental effect on water supplies (Marsh, 1996) in the Integrated Resource Zone (IRZ) of United Utilities. This network of impounding reservoirs, river and lake abstractions, inter-river transfers and groundwater abstractions is linked to the major urban centres through major aqueducts (Walker, 1998). Rainfall, mainly from weather systems in the westerly quadrant, leads to a seasonal flow regime, with the runoff largest in winter and spring and least in summer. During the 1995–96 drought, the most severe in the historic record, the 18-month rainfall of only 56% of the long-term average caused reservoirs to be at their lowest historic levels in the spring of 1996 (Walker, 1998). Despite the success of management in avoiding severe restrictions on water supply throughout the 1995– 96 drought, the need to quantify the likely effects of climate change on the IRZ was highlighted as a priority.
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Impacts of Climate Change on Hydrological Regime and Water Resources Management of the Narew River in Poland

Impacts of Climate Change on Hydrological Regime and Water Resources Management of the Narew River in Poland

Agriculture also contributes to and experienc- es the effects of climate change. All agricultural crops require appropriate soils, water, heat and sunlight so that they can grow optimally. The in- crease in air temperature has already affected the length of the growing season in a large area in Eu- rope. Both flowering and harvesting cereal crops occur a few days earlier and it is expected that these changes will progress in many regions. The land designated for agricultural crops is at risk. It may be dislodged or disappear completely, lead- ing to economic problems in countries, includ- ing lack of food. The existing extreme weather phenomena have a direct or indirect impact on a significant increase in the risk of failed harvests, also on the soil, causing a decrease in the organic matter content, which is the main factor ensuring its fertility. The direct impact is mainly a change in the atmospheric conditions for the productivity of crops, including sums of atmospheric precipi- tation, changes in thermal conditions, frequency and intensity of extreme phenomena. The 2004 European Environment Agency report states that compared to the 1990s, a two-fold increase in the number of climate disasters occurred, and the value of losses caused by them exceeded in 2005 the amount of up to 200 billion dollars, while at the turn of the 20th and 21st century alone, they reached several billion dollars a year [Trzpil, 2008, Tubiello et al., 2007, Olsen et al., 2011].
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Economic Impact of Climate Change on Water Resources

Economic Impact of Climate Change on Water Resources

ABSTRACT: Detrimental impacts of climate change on the international ski tourism industry have been projected in numerous studies. Modeling-based studies project shortened ski seasons and increased snowmaking requirements under warmer temperatures. The present study uses a climate change analogue approach to examine how a wider range of ski area performance indicators were affected by anomalously warm winters in the Northeast region of the USA. The record warm winter of 2001–2002 is representative of projected future average winter climate conditions in the USA Northeast under a high greenhouse gas emission scenario for the 2040–2069 period and was used as one climate change analogue for this analysis. The 1998–1999 ski season was also used as a climate change analogue as it represents the last of 3 consecutive warm winters (1997 to 1999) that are rep- resentative of a mid-range emissions scenario projected for the 2040–2069 period. Ski area perfor- mance indicators for the 2001–2002 and 1998–1999 analogue years were compared to the climati- cally normal (based on 1961–1990 means) years of 2000–2001 and 2004–2005. The indicators examined include: ski season length, snowmaking (hours of operation and % energy utilized as a proxy for fuel costs), total skier visits and operating profit (% of total gross fixed assets). The effect of ski season length during the climate change analogue years is compared with modeled effects for the region. The differential vulnerability of small, medium, large and extra-large ski areas was also examined and the greatest economic effects were found among small and extra large ski areas. KEY WORDS: Ski tourism · Analogue · Climate change · Northeastern USA
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