Climate contradiction: Less snow, more blizzards

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Photo -   FILE - In this Jan. 5, 2012 file photo, man-made snow coats a ski run next to barren ground under a chairlift at Shawnee Peak ski area in Bridgton, Maine. Scientists point to both scant recent snowfall in parts of the country and this month's whopper of a Northeast blizzard as potential global warming signs. It may seem like a contradiction, but the explanation lies in atmospheric physics. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
FILE - In this Jan. 5, 2012 file photo, man-made snow coats a ski run next to barren ground under a chairlift at Shawnee Peak ski area in Bridgton, Maine. Scientists point to both scant recent snowfall in parts of the country and this month's whopper of a Northeast blizzard as potential global warming signs. It may seem like a contradiction, but the explanation lies in atmospheric physics. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
News,Science and Technology

WASHINGTON (AP) — Some scientists have pointed to global warming as the culprit for scant snowfall and barren ski slopes in parts of the Midwest and Northeast the past couple of years.

Then, when a blizzard coated the Northeast with more than 2 feet of snow in some places earlier this month, some of the same people again blamed global warming.

How can that be? It seems to be a contradiction.

But the answer can be found in atmospheric physics. Snow experts say a warmer atmosphere can hold, and dump, more moisture. And two soon-to-be-published studies demonstrate how there can be more giant blizzards yet less snow overall each year. Projections are that that's likely to continue with manmade global warming.

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