Global warming likely to cause colder and snowier winters, scientists say

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Global warming likely to cause colder and snowier winters, scientists say
This image was captured by NOAA's GOES-East satellite on Jan. 6, 2014, at 11:01 a.m. EST (1601 UTC). A frontal system that brought rain to the coast is draped from north to south along the U.S. East Coast. Behind the front lies the clearer skies bitter cold air associated with the polar vortex.
ONTARIO, CANADA- MARCH 10: A group of ice fishers gather on the frozen surface of Great Lakes after the Niagara Falls frozen over due to the extreme cold weather, Canada, North America, on March 10, 2014. The Polar Vortex brought record cold temperatures from Kansas to Maine. The views attract attention by many photographers and tourists. (Photo by Seyit Aydogan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ONTARIO, CANADA- MARCH 10: A group of ice fishers gather on the frozen surface of Great Lakes after the Niagara Falls frozen over due to the extreme cold weather, Canada, North America, on March 10, 2014. The Polar Vortex brought record cold temperatures from Kansas to Maine. The views attract attention by many photographers and tourists. (Photo by Seyit Aydogan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ONTARIO, CANADA- MARCH 10:A view of the Niagara Falls frozen over due to the extreme cold weather, Canada, North America, on March 10, 2014. The Polar Vortex brought record cold temperatures from Kansas to Maine. The views attract attention by many photographers and tourists. (Photo by Seyit Aydogan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: A man bundles up against the cold on the afternoon of January 8, 2014 in New York City. Today was slightly warmer than yesterday, when a polar vortex descended from the Arctic on much of the country, though today's temperatures were still well below freezing. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
CHICAGO - JANUARY 07: Chicago Skyline, as steam rises from Lake Michigan due to the 'Polar Vortex' sending temperatures well below zero in Chicago, Illinois on JANUARY 07, 2014. (Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)
CHICAGO - JANUARY 07: Steam rises from the Chicago River due to the 'Polar Vortex' sending temperatures well below zero in Chicago, Illinois on JANUARY 07, 2014. (Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)
CROFTON, MD. - JANUARY 7: Canada Geese rest on a frozen pond as bitter temperatures engulfed the Washington area on Tuesday, courtesy of the frigid air mass that descended on Monday and spread across the nation on January, 7 2014 in Crofton, MD. (Photo by Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images)
ONTARIO, CANADA- MARCH 10:A view of the Niagara Falls frozen over due to the extreme cold weather, Canada, North America, on March 10, 2014. The Polar Vortex brought record cold temperatures from Kansas to Maine. The views attract attention by many photographers and tourists. (Photo by Seyit Aydogan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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By RYAN GORMAN

Scientists now believe that global warming is to blame for extreme cold snaps in North America during the winter months – and that it will only keep happening.

The "polar vortex" that plunged Canada and the U.S. into historical cold last winter is said by researchers to have occurred because melting polar ice changes weather patterns, according to a study published earlier this month.

A team of Korean and American scientists asserted in a new study that the melting ice causes the northern jet stream (upper level air flow) to shift south and bring polar air with it.

The polar ice is melting because warmer water is riding the Gulf Stream (ocean currents) from tropical regions of the Atlantic Ocean to an area north of Scandinavia.



This causes masses of warm air to destabilize the normally strong polar air mass and send brutally cold air right at Canada and the U.S., according to Slate.

As the atmosphere continues to warm, and ocean water temperatures rise, this effect will only become more pronounced, researchers argue.

The surprising result of global warming, or climate change, will be colder, snowier winters across both countries.

The Eurasian supercontinent also experiences this cooling effect, according to study co-author Seong-Joon Kim.

Kim told Slate the three-year study was inspired by two record-breaking cold snaps over the past decade in his native Korea.

He also blamed a number of other factors, but said the loss of Arctic Sea ice is serving only to intensify the phenomenon.

Are Rumors of Record-Breaking Snowfall This Winter True?
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