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Tourism in the Changing Climate of eastern Newfoundland Norm Catto Geography, Memorial University ncatto@mun.ca Climate: Recent variability & change Longer, hotter and drier summers Increased thunderstorm & lightning activity Increased storm activity

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Tourism in the changing climate of eastern newfoundland l.jpg

Tourism in the Changing Climate of eastern Newfoundland

Norm Catto

Geography, Memorial University

ncatto@mun.ca


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Climate: Recent variability & change

  • Longer, hotter and drier summers

  • Increased thunderstorm & lightning activity

  • Increased storm activity

  • More winter and spring precipitation, especially rain

  • Stronger winds

  • Variable, generally reduced snow cover

  • More ‘anomalous’ events


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In future, What can eastern Newfoundland expect?

More of the Same!

No types of weather events eastern Newfoundland hasn’t experienced previously, only changes in frequency and intensity


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Some related work ….

  • “Climate Change Impacts in NL Parks”

  • Trail Design, Bonavista Peninsula

  • Landscape & Environmental Analysis, Terra Nova National Park – Eastport Peninsula

  • Landscape & Environmental Analysis, Carmanville & Botwood areas

  • Impact of frost action, St. Brendan’s quarries

  • Impact of sea level changes, The Beaches

  • please contact ncatto@mun.ca, 737-8413


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Tourism: Recent trends & change

  • Increased and changed use by NL residents

  • Increased visits - promotion outside NL

  • Increasing economic significance of tourism

  • More summer residents & summer home purchases

  • Continued attraction of ‘come-home’ years – not as subject to climate change impacts


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Changes in Tourist Population

  • Cruise ship visitation

  • Older tourists – approx. 2/3 of summer 2006 visitors to Cape St. Mary’s were over 60

  • Number of school-age tourists decreasing

  • Shifts to air travel (& local car rental)

  • Implications for trail design, types of activities

  • Increasing shoulder seasons (spring and fall)

  • Impact on winter tourism?


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Impact on summer tourism - coast

  • Increased use of beaches for recreation

  • Increased vehicular access to beaches

  • Increased storm-induced erosion

  • Increased storm activity means disruption of Gulf ferry traffic possible – cost of weather disruptions exceeded $6 million in 2004


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Impact on Summer tourism & Recreation - interior

  • Summer use of wooded areas can result in an increase in forest fires (local & distant)

  • Increased use of ponds during summer

  • Water supply and quality concerns – drier summers

  • Dry summers may adversely affect berries


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Icebergs

  • From the mid-1990s to 2003, iceberg numbers increased

  • 2004-2006, iceberg numbers decreased

  • Number of icebergs is directly related to glacial activity in Greenland

  • Water temperatures in the Labrador Sea will remain suitable for iceberg drift

  • Fluctuations in iceberg numbers are not related to climate change along the Newfoundland coast


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Impacts during winter & spring - coast

  • More freeze-thaw events leading to increased erosion of coastal cliff sites and walking trails

  • Increased storm activity – narrowing and coarsening of beaches

  • Increased degradation of coastal dunes


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Snow tourism

  • changes in cross-country skiing patterns

  • Decreases in snow would limit snowmobiling

  • Reduction by ~ 50% in days suitable for snowmobiling from 1970 to 2025

  • By 2050, predicted average snowmobiling season in Gander could total less than 1 week (McBoyle et al., University of Western Ontario)

  • Snowmobile sales declined by 38.4% between 1997 and 2005 throughout North America

  • ATV sales increased by a comparable percentage


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Implications - positives

  • Change advertising in response to changed conditions and tourist population

  • Some aspects of tourism, including longer summer seasons, are favoured by ongoing climate change

  • As warming increases more rapidly in central North America and Western Europe, our relatively cool summers are increasingly seen as attractive environments for vacationing or a summer residence


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Further information ….

  • please contact ncatto@mun.ca

  • 737-8413

  • http://www.mun.ca/geog/research/coastal_geomorpho.php