Climate Smart Snowmaking
NSAA's inaugural Climate Smart Snowmaking Study explores the relationship between climate change and snowmaking.
- Establish a baseline and benchmark for snowmaking across the United States
- Help ski areas understand climate risks and vulnerabilities in snowmaking
- Develop and share information, tools and resources to improve efficiency and reduce impacts
- Ski areas embrace the science of climate change. Climate science is informing responsible and resilient ski area operations and advocacy efforts.
- Snowmaking is a long-standing operational tool that improves resilience for resorts and mountain communities. It allows ski areas to open on time and can allow them to stay open longer, which brings both jobs and revenue to the community.
- Snow made at ski areas is actual snow, not fake or artificial. Snow crystals are produced by separating water into small particles and quickly freezing them as they move through cold air.
- Snowmaking is a largely non-consumptive use of water that provides environmental, operational and economic benefits.
- Investments in efficient snowmaking equipment and process automation have reduced the energy and resource impacts of snowmaking, further reducing its share of a ski area’s total greenhouse gas emissions.
The study was conducted in partnership with Brendle Group, ski industry experts and third-party stakeholders.
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Snowmaking Primer and FAQs
As climate change impacts are felt across North America, questions arise on how ski areas are affected by climate change and what the ski industry is doing in response. The informational primer and its accompanying FAQs are intended to help answer questions regarding snowmaking’s role in and risks from a changing climate.
Read the Primer & FAQs
Inaugural Climate Smart Snowmaking Study
NSAA and Brendle Group partnered on the inaugural Climate Smart Snowmaking Study with the goals of better understanding climate change vulnerabilities; measuring and mitigating snowmaking impacts on the environment and resources; and to help ski areas plan for future risks and impacts from climate change on their operations. NSAA is grateful to the study's Technical Advisory Committee and focus group participants (both ski industry experts and external stakeholders) for sharing their time and experience to this important resilience tool.
Read the Study