Hadia Akbar

Utah State University;Utah Water Research Lab | Research Assisstant

Subject Areas: Hydrology, agriculture, climate adaptation

 Recent Activity

ABSTRACT:

Climate change is a threat to ski resorts, the ski industry, and mountain communities that rely on ski tourism. Ski resorts may be able to mitigate some of the social and economic impacts caused by climate change with proactive adaptation strategies. Using historical weather data, future climate projections, and interviews with ski resort managers in Utah (USA), this research investigates the effects of climate change on ski resorts across the state. We examine past temperature change at all resorts from 1980 – 2018, and climate projections from 2021 – 2100 under different climate change scenarios (RCP 2.6, 4.5, and 8.5). Semi-structured interviews with resort managers also provide insights into how resort leadership perceives the impacts of climate change, are implementing adaptation strategies, and are addressing barriers to adaptation. Many resorts in Utah are warming faster than global averages, and minimum temperatures are rising faster than maximum temperatures. By the end of the century, winter (December – March) minimum daily temperatures in Utah could warm an additional 6.0°C under the RCP 8.5 scenario near Northern Utah resorts, and 6.6°C near Southern Utah resorts. Resort managers are concerned about shorter season lengths, shifting ski seasons, less snow cover, and poorer snow quality. Many resorts are already adapting, with the most common adaptations being snowmaking and diversifying outdoor recreation offerings (particularly during the summer and shoulder seasons). Barriers to adaptation reported by managers include financial costs, adequate water availability for snowmaking, and uncertainty about climate change projections. Climate change is already impacting Utah ski resorts, but adaptation practices can reduce the negative impacts to some degree at most resorts.

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ABSTRACT:

Changes in climate influence agricultural production. This study looks at the impacts of climate variability in the Utah regions of the Upper Colorado River Basin by combining regression techniques with interview data to explore how climate variability affects agricultural production and how the farmers are adapting their practices to these changes. The results show that climate does not have any significant impact on cattle and hay production in the study area on a decadal scale. However, on an annual basis temperature seems to have more impact than precipitation. Among non-climatic variables, commodity prices and their regulations by the government are the most important factors that influence the year-to-year production. Farmers are well-aware of these impacts and have adapted significantly to the changes that occur on a year-to-year basis.

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ABSTRACT:

Hydropeaking is a phenomenon that causes daily variation in flow from hydropower dams. The hydropeaking at the Glen Canyon Dam has high range (difference of daily and and low) and has caused lowest diversity of the EPT population downstream the dam. We present a range of flows and corresponding volumes for different scenarios of discharge from the dam that are suitable to provide conditions to sustain the hydropeaking and increase the bug population.

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ABSTRACT:

The Colorado River Compact apportions water between upper and lower basin and requires the upper basin to deliver a total of 7.5 MAF to lower basin each year. The Colorado river system has been very reliable in past and has survived many dry periods without failing to meet the demand requirements of both basins. The drought that began in the region at the turn of the century has rendered it very difficult for the upper basin to meet the delivery requirements to the lower basin. Many management options have been explored and some have been implemented to maintain increase the reliability of the system. This report focuses on creating a pareto front for the reliability of the Colorado river supply in response to demands to upper and lower basin. This could help in identify what would be the tradeoffs for reliability of one basin if the system is managed to meet the requirements of the other basin.

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Composite Resource Composite Resource

ABSTRACT:

The Colorado River Compact apportions water between upper and lower basin and requires the upper basin to deliver a total of 7.5 MAF to lower basin each year. The Colorado river system has been very reliable in past and has survived many dry periods without failing to meet the demand requirements of both basins. The drought that began in the region at the turn of the century has rendered it very difficult for the upper basin to meet the delivery requirements to the lower basin. Many management options have been explored and some have been implemented to maintain increase the reliability of the system. This report focuses on creating a pareto front for the reliability of the Colorado river supply in response to demands to upper and lower basin. This could help in identify what would be the tradeoffs for reliability of one basin if the system is managed to meet the requirements of the other basin.

Show More
Composite Resource Composite Resource

ABSTRACT:

Hydropeaking is a phenomenon that causes daily variation in flow from hydropower dams. The hydropeaking at the Glen Canyon Dam has high range (difference of daily and and low) and has caused lowest diversity of the EPT population downstream the dam. We present a range of flows and corresponding volumes for different scenarios of discharge from the dam that are suitable to provide conditions to sustain the hydropeaking and increase the bug population.

Show More
Composite Resource Composite Resource

ABSTRACT:

Changes in climate influence agricultural production. This study looks at the impacts of climate variability in the Utah regions of the Upper Colorado River Basin by combining regression techniques with interview data to explore how climate variability affects agricultural production and how the farmers are adapting their practices to these changes. The results show that climate does not have any significant impact on cattle and hay production in the study area on a decadal scale. However, on an annual basis temperature seems to have more impact than precipitation. Among non-climatic variables, commodity prices and their regulations by the government are the most important factors that influence the year-to-year production. Farmers are well-aware of these impacts and have adapted significantly to the changes that occur on a year-to-year basis.

Show More
Composite Resource Composite Resource
Climate change at Utah ski resorts: Impacts, perceptions, and adaptation strategies (data and code)
Created: Nov. 4, 2020, 3:42 p.m.
Authors: Hadia Akbar · Emily J. Wilkins · Tara Saley · Rachel Hager

ABSTRACT:

Climate change is a threat to ski resorts, the ski industry, and mountain communities that rely on ski tourism. Ski resorts may be able to mitigate some of the social and economic impacts caused by climate change with proactive adaptation strategies. Using historical weather data, future climate projections, and interviews with ski resort managers in Utah (USA), this research investigates the effects of climate change on ski resorts across the state. We examine past temperature change at all resorts from 1980 – 2018, and climate projections from 2021 – 2100 under different climate change scenarios (RCP 2.6, 4.5, and 8.5). Semi-structured interviews with resort managers also provide insights into how resort leadership perceives the impacts of climate change, are implementing adaptation strategies, and are addressing barriers to adaptation. Many resorts in Utah are warming faster than global averages, and minimum temperatures are rising faster than maximum temperatures. By the end of the century, winter (December – March) minimum daily temperatures in Utah could warm an additional 6.0°C under the RCP 8.5 scenario near Northern Utah resorts, and 6.6°C near Southern Utah resorts. Resort managers are concerned about shorter season lengths, shifting ski seasons, less snow cover, and poorer snow quality. Many resorts are already adapting, with the most common adaptations being snowmaking and diversifying outdoor recreation offerings (particularly during the summer and shoulder seasons). Barriers to adaptation reported by managers include financial costs, adequate water availability for snowmaking, and uncertainty about climate change projections. Climate change is already impacting Utah ski resorts, but adaptation practices can reduce the negative impacts to some degree at most resorts.

Show More