(With climate change) “we will see a shorter snow season, but more intense individual snowfall events." – Dr. Michael Mann, Climatologist at Penn State University
Source: Dailyclimate.org, "Climate change is serving up doses of extreme weather. Even in winter," by Marlene Cimons, February 9, 2012.
During winter, Fox News and climate change contrarians frequently use the phrase, "It's snowing today. Whatever happened to global warming?" Contrarians think that statement trumps everything and totally debunk climate change.
Not so fast says Dr. Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University,
"Climate change contrarians and deniers love to cherry-pick individual events to argue that they are somehow inconsistent with global warming, when they are not. As long as it's cold enough to snow – which it will be in the winter – you potentially will get greater snowfalls."
The physics is simple. More water evaporates into the atmosphere with warmer temperatures. Warmer air holds more water than cooler air. Each Celsius degree of warming increases the air's "water-holding capacity," by about 7 percent. As a result, the air that is super-saturated with water often brings drenching rain downpours and flooding. Furthermore, if it is cold enough, you get heavy and intense snowfall.
Michael Mann states that with climate change, "We will see a shorter snow season, but more intense individual snowfall events."
Gerald Meehl, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, warns that with climate change of "a bigger chance for a big snowfall in late fall or early spring." Again this is because "the air is warmer and holds more moisture."
Contrarians somehow think that if global warming is real than winter storms must disappear. Meehl responds, "You can still get snowstorms in mid-winter... Winter still comes. We will still have cold snaps – but fewer of them."
Mann agrees that extreme blizzards are more likely to occur when the temperatures hover in the low 30s or high 20s Fahrenheit, rather than in the teens or colder. He said, "There is something to that old saying: 'It's too cold to snow."'
Image Source: http://www.globalpost.com