Study links polar vortex chills to melting sea ice

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Associated Press

Posted on September 2, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 2 at 1:00 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Remember the polar vortex, the huge mass of Arctic air that can plunge much of the U.S. into the deep freeze? You might have to get used to it.

A new study says that as the world gets warmer, parts of North America, Europe and Asia could see more frequent and stronger visits of that cold air. Researchers say that's because of shrinkage in ice in the seas off Russia. Less ice would let more energy go from the ocean into the air, and that would weaken the atmospheric forces that usually keep cold air trapped in the Arctic.

The study was published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications.

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