that's correct, and as oceans warm, these storms "should" get stronger (thought not necessarily more frequent). This is exactly what we've been seeing with larger and larger storms striking the east coast (Irene, Sandy, Nemo, etc.). It drives me up a wall when folks argue that these storms mean that there's no global warming.
Raise the air temp from say 24 to 26 and the ocean temp from 40 to 42 and you get "more" moisture in winter storms.
I'm rather embarrassed not to know specifics on this, but isn't the 'long term' view of global warming followed by an ice age of epic proportions? I seem to recall the idea that, save for a runaway process where we end up like Venus... Extra water from polar regions melted + higher temperatures causing more evaporation + more warmth for wicked storms = cloud cover is significantly increased, causing the sunlight to be reflected and freezing the planet for some time.
That was years ago though, maybe they've changed the global warming 'end game' since then.
And JCA's comment about arguing global warming... The insane part is there even is an argument at all. A decade ago? Fine, I get the tepid acceptance of global warming as fact. When we just had one or two years in the 'top ten hottest on record' well, that's one thing. Now, every damn year, global heat records. Atlantic tropical systems use up to R or S names almost annually now. Sandy, these winter blizzards like our last, 'Snowmageddon' and this most recent one.
And now it's been over two years since we, meaning the DC area which almost always drew the border between the NE snow events and rain, have had any appreciable snowfall - meaning that line of snow/rain went further north, and now we aren't getting any snow two years running. I can hardly remember any years we never had any snow. Two, in a row? And still a large number of people question what's right in front of them. The saddest part is its too late, by and large. If the US, as educated and rich as we are, still has this debate, now? Good f*ing luck getting China to change their ways. Hell, you can't even see in Beijing with black pollution, and no changes.
I guess some comfort can be drawn, however cruel it may be, that in the end it'll cost us far more doing nothing and facing catastrophic weather like this on an almost monthly basis than it would have to stop CO2 pollution when we could have.