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Carbon footprint and climate change in ski resorts: a case study in Piemonte

Milad Bagheri

Carbon footprint and climate change in ski resorts: a case study in Piemonte.

Rel. Stefania Tamea, Alessandro Casasso. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Per L'Ambiente E Il Territorio, 2023

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Climate change poses significant risks to the winter tourism industry, as many ski resorts face shorter, milder winter seasons. Given these challenges and their critical role in both tourism attraction and economic vitality, it is important for ski resorts to consider proactive measures for all winter enthusiasts who want to enjoy snow-based sports and the natural beauty of a mountain environment. The present study investigates the carbon footprint associated with the Alpe di Mera ski resort, with a specific emphasis on three key elements: ski lifts, snowmaking, and grooming. The Alpe di Mera ski resort intends to replace two existing chair lifts with a single cable car lift as a part of its future renovation plan. In light of this development, a novel methodology was developed to assess the energy consumption of the new ski lift (cable car) using passenger data from existing chair lifts. The carbon footprint of the new ski lift, as well as other ski lifts and elements, was calculated as a result. The findings highlight the various contributions of individual elements to the overall carbon footprint. Furthermore, the study introduces a set of indicators based on the calculated carbon footprint and characterization of the ski resort that allow comparisons between different ski resorts. These indicators offer significant insights into the operational efficiency of the resort and its environmental consequences. One of the key elements in carbon footprint is snowmaking, which is directly related to meteorological conditions (i.e., wet bulb temperature), and thus exposed to climate change. The Copernicus Mountain Tourism Meteorological and Snow Indicators (MTMSI) dataset was used to illustrate the evolution of these indicators over four distinct time periods, and three different Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs). The results derived from this examination offer a more profound comprehension of the potential consequences of climate change on mountain tourism across diverse altitudes and under varying future scenarios.

Relators: Stefania Tamea, Alessandro Casasso
Academic year: 2023/24
Publication type: Electronic
Number of Pages: 65
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Per L'Ambiente E Il Territorio
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-35 - ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING
Aziende collaboratrici: UNSPECIFIED
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/28266
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