Is the warming Arctic related to the recent cold wave? This unintuitive connection might have some truth to it. However, it must be pointed out first that any cold wave is just weather being naturally variable. Such cold waves have happened before. Even the weather that happened in Texas was not unprecedented. Evidence of changing climate is not found in any particular weather pattern, but in the frequency or severity of certain types of patterns over time.

The Arctic connection goes like this: Less ice in the Arctic region means more pockets of unusually warm air, which when located in proximity to typically frigid Arctic air can lead to pattern disruptions and, under certain circumstances, displacements of frigid Arctic air much farther south. Our general trend, however, is for most winter cold snaps to be a little less cold, most of the time, than in decades past.

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