Has global warming affected snowfall?

Hello! I have been doing a project on Snow & Global Warming and I need to know if Global Warming affected snowfall over the years. Please add how also! Thanks

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  • Trevor
    Lv 7
    8 years ago
    Best Answer

    Whether it snows or not is determined by temperature, and it’s temperature that causes all the weather we experience in the world. Every aspect of our climates and weather systems are absolutely dependent on temperature.

    Any change in temperature has to have an effect on every component of the weather.

    Snowflakes are formed in optimum conditions high in the atmosphere. The process begins with evapouration of water from the seas, oceans, lakes etc. The water vapour rises into the atmosphere where it is supercooled (liquid water at sub-zero temperatures). As an air parcel cools it can contain less moisture, when the upper limit is reached (saturation vapour pressure) the excess moisture condenses around a nucleus such as a particle of dust or pollen, and forms an ice crystal.

    In colder conditions a process known as homogenous nucleation takes place in which the molecules of water vapour bond into a lattice and create their own nuclei around which condensation occurs.

    Multiple ice crystals join together to form larger crystals, when they have sufficient mass they fall to Earth. During the descent the crystals join together and form snowflakes (aggregation). As the snowflakes descent further they usually melt and fall as rain, but if the temperature is cold enough they will reach the ground as snow.

    Every stage of this process is affected by temperature. Whenever there is global cooling or global warming, i.e. all of the time, snow dynamics will be affected. Quite how a warming environment affects snowfall will be determined by where on the planet you are.

    If for example you’re somewhere that is always cold, technically somewhere that has a Polar Ice Cap climate classification, then the chances are that there will be an increase in snowfall. This is because a warmer atmosphere and oceans are more conducive to evapouration and as this moisture laden air moves into very cold places such as Greenland and Antarctica the precipitation will fall as snow.

    With more evapouration occurring at the start of the process, there will be more snow falling at the final stage…but only if the ground level temperatures are cold enough for it to snow. In most parts of the world global warming has raised the temperature of the atmosphere such that the chance of rain has increased whilst the chance of snow has decreased.

    Indeed, globally there has been an 8% to 10% increase in levels of precipitation and this has led to a record number of flood events. Most of this increased precipitation falls as rain, but in the cold places it falls as snow.

    Unless you live in a polar region or high on a mountain then almost certainly you will be experiencing more rainfall and less snowfall than you did in the past.

    A great source of information concerning changes that have been observed in snowfall in recent decades is the Global Snow Lab:

    http://climate.rutgers.edu/snowcover/

    18 months ago I produced various graphs showing the changes in the amount of snowfall, here’s some of them (feel free to reproduce them if you wish):

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/trevorandclaire/46407...

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/trevorandclaire/46435...

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/trevorandclaire/46413...

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/trevorandclaire/46402...

    Source(s): I’m a climate scientist. I also know a thing or two about avalanches and glaciers. As such, snow and ice is a big part of my career (and hobbies).
  • jerry
    Lv 5
    8 years ago

    Unless you live in a polar region or high on a mountain then almost certainly you will be experiencing more rainfall and less snowfall than you did in the past.

    I guess this is the reason last year broke our most ever snowfall by over 8 inches in the central midwest, and our total precip was under average for the year

  • bubba
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    It can affect where it snows, how much snow, and the number of snow events. It is difficult to say that a snow event is directly caused by climate change or global warming even though the changes we see are consistent with what scientists expect.

    http://www.noaa.gov/features/02_monitoring/snowsto...

    http://www.climatewatch.noaa.gov/article/2010/can-...

  • Jeff M
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Yes. Global warming has affected all precipitation as a whole. As more water vapour enters the atmosphere (1) precipitation has increased in precipitation-prone areas of the world (2). A perfect example of this would be Greenland where precipitation has been increasing steadily for decades (3). Of course along with melting glaciers and advancing warmer weather rainy days will increase more than snowy days as evidenced along the Western USA (4) (Sorry in my quick search I can't find one globally. Perhaps you could do a little more searching.)

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  • 8 years ago

    yes as global warming is the biggest cause of environment change & snowfall is the one such change as now a days the month of January seems to be like a summer season in India.

  • 8 years ago

    It makes less snow by heating up the world.

    It makes more snow by causing more evaporation.

    It makes less rain by drying up the world.

    It makes more rain by causing more evaporation.

    It causes drought by heating and drying up the land.

    It causes floods with more rain.

    It causes cloudy storms somehow.

    It causes clear days by drying up clouds.

    Is there nothing it cannot do?

    By the way, why do Flossie and jeff m disagree?

  • 8 years ago

    Yes. Global warming has produced a lot of radioactive chemicals which has affected snowfall in the following way: after falling, the snow transforms into a bloodthirsty mutated snowman.

    Source(s): Science!
  • 8 years ago

    in short yes it has but to actually be asked to explain how is a little much to do over yahoo answers for me because to put it simply, i don't wanna type that much. but if you really want to know look up how the oceanic currents work, how the greenhouse gases affect the planet, the planets natural cycles, and how temperature changes affect the ecosystems of our planet.

  • 8 years ago

    nope its only december ad up here we still got a good 4-5 feet of snow already still got our awesome below 20 weather sumtimes even below 30:o so nope the northern part of canadas not yet affected:o

    Source(s): :D
  • Maxx
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    According to Warmist, Global Warming causes it to both always snow and to never snow. It causes both freezing temperatures and unbearable heat.

    Here is the complete list list of bad things that have allegedly been caused by Global Warming.

    http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm

    For example:

    Did you know that Global Warming killed the Loch Ness Monster? (sad hun? - no word on Godzilla)

    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/20...

    How about the poor polar bears who's penis sizes are shrinking because of Global Warming (pollution). I wonder how many researchers they lost getting those measurements.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14485634/

    Global Warming is said to be hurting the brothel industry.

    http://www.metro.co.uk/weird/39945-global-warming-...

    No matter what is happening outside --- Global Warming caused it, try to keep that in mind.

    And for more about the Global Warming fraud, watch these videos:

    The Great Global Warming Swindle

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaTJJCPYhlk

    Youtube thumbnail

    Global Warming Doomsday Called Off

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-330991046...

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    If you would like to understand exactly why the planet has warmed over the last several decades allow Dr. Henrik Svensmark to explain in this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1qGOUIRac0

    Youtube thumbnail

    &feature=results_main&playnext=1&list=PLA1A4AD5D4BA8CCF4

    (The video is in 5 parts and will automatically advance at the end of each segment)

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