The Science Behind the Mid-Atlantic Snow

A whiteout obstructs the view of the US Capitol Building. Photo credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images

While record snowfall in the mid-Atlantic region has many doubting the earth’s temperature is really rising, a recent article in Time magazine explains that, in fact, climate change means more severe weather patterns, including heavy snow.

According to writer Bryan Walsh, “That’s in part because of global warming — hotter air can hold more moisture, so when a storm gathers it can unleash massive amounts of snow.”

“There is some evidence,” he wrote, “that climate change could in fact make such massive snowstorms more common, even as the world continues to warm.”

Veronica Johnson. Photo: NOAA website

Veronica Johnson, a meteorologist with Washington, DC’s News4s Weather Plus Team and a member of the Joint Center’s Commission to Engage African Americans on Climate Change said, “While we can’t prove Climate Change with one storm, I do believe we will be seeing more extreme events every season. Here in DC we just had our snowiest winter ever with 55-plus inches.”

Meanwhile, The Hill, a newspaper that covers the national government, ran a story this week about how all the snow was bad news for the climate bill. While jobs and the economy remain a top priority, “the paralyzing snowfalls have made the prospect of winning support for a climate bill this year even less likely.” Republicans, it said, were using the snow as evidence to support global warming skeptics.

The snow, as a case against climate change, said Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) “makes it more challenging for folks not taking time to review the scientific arguments.”

The full Time story: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1962294,00.html

The Hill article:
http://thehill.com/images/stories/news/2010/february/020210/20100210.pdf

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