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Mar 13, 2018

Extreme winter weather in the US linked to a warming Arctic

<em>Water from a wave blows over cars in Quincy, Massachusetts, as a major nor’easter barrels into the northeastern US on March 7th, 2018. </em>

When the Arctic is unusually warm, extreme winter weather is two to four times more likely in the eastern United States, according to new research. It’s too early to tell whether a warming Arctic is causing this severe cold spells and if so, how exactly. But the study shows how global climate change can have ripple effects at the local level, close to home.

Researchers analyzed a variety of atmospheric data in the Arctic, as well as how severe winter weather was in 12 cities across the US from 1950 to 2016. Since 1990, as the Arctic has been warming up and losing ice, extreme cold snaps and heavy snow in the winter have been two to four times more frequent in the eastern US and the Midwest, while in the western US, their frequency has...

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