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Climate contradiction: Less snow, more blizzards

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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.

Snow-Global-Warming Sidd

FILE - In this Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013 file photo, Mike Brown of Boston cross country skis past snow-covered cars through the Chinatown neighborhood of Boston. Scientists point to both scant recent snowfall in parts of the country and this month's whopper of a Northeast blizzard as potential signs of global warming. It may seem like a contradiction, but the explanation lies in atmospheric physics. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

How can that be?

The answer lies in atmospheric physics. Experts say the warmer atmosphere can hold, and dump, more moisture. Two new studies find there are more big blizzards but less snow overall each year.

One study says the nation has been hit by twice as many extreme snowstorms in the past 50 years than in the previous 60. Another study predicts annual global snowfall will shrink by more than a foot in the next 50 years.

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