Other factors counter effects of Arctic winds, simulations suggest
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Bitter bouts of unusually cold days will become less frequent in much of the Northern Hemisphere as the planet warms, two new studies suggest.
Some scientists had suggested that winter cold snaps would become more common in the future as Arctic warming caused frigid polar winds to waver and dip southward. But that wind waviness is minor compared with other expected climate changes, researchers report in the March issue of the Journal of Climate. Using climate simulations, they found that the shrinking temperature difference between the Arctic and lower latitudes will stabilize temperatures in the hemisphere.
In a separate study published online March 30 in Environmental Research Letters, researchers estimate that the frequency of cold snaps will actually decrease by about 20 percent by the 2030s.