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A Warming Planet Can Mean More Snow

pickens (49171) writes | more than 4 years ago

Earth 0

Ponca City, We love you writes "NPR reports that with snow blanketing much of the country, the topic of global warming has become the butt of jokes but for scientists who study the climate there's no contradiction between a warming world and lots of snow. "The fact that the oceans are warmer now than they were, say, 30 years ago means there's about on average 4 percent more water vapor lurking around over the oceans than there was, say, in the 1970s," says Kevin Trenberth, a prominent climate scientist adding that warmer water means more water vapor rises up into the air, and what goes up must come down. "So one of the consequences of a warming ocean near a coastline like the East Coast and Washington, DC, for instance, is that you can get dumped on with more snow partly as a consequence of global warming." Increased snowfall also fits a pattern suggested by many climate models, in which rising temperatures increase the amount of atmospheric moisture, bringing more rain in warmer conditions and more snow in freezing temperatures. "All you need is cold air and moisture to meet each other" to make snow, said Jay Gulledge, senior scientist for the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. "And with global warming, the opportunities to do that should be more frequent.""

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