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Why can a warming local weather improve snowfall?



It may possibly appear counterintuitive that on a warming planet, winter storms can produce a lot snow. But it surely’s truly a reasonably logical consequence of local weather change’s intensifying impact on the earth’s water cycle.

Extra excessive precipitation occasions — snow in addition to rain — are “exactly what we expect in a warming world,” mentioned Rick Thoman, a local weather specialist on the College of Alaska Fairbanks.

Because the planet warms, so do each the oceans and the environment. Hotter oceans improve the quantity of water that evaporates into the air, and hotter air can maintain extra water vapor, which it will definitely releases as precipitation.

Total, winter temperatures are warming, and the size of the winter season is shortening. Hotter temperatures imply that extra of that precipitation will fall as rain slightly than snow, based on Sean Birkel, climatologist for the state of Maine. However some locations may nonetheless see extra snowfall than earlier than, when rising temperatures are nonetheless under the freezing level.

International local weather change unfolds a narrative of extremes: Traditionally moist areas are more likely to expertise elevated precipitation, whereas traditionally dry areas might even see extra drought, as larger evaporation charges dry out the soil.

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