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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Freezing air that jumps the 'Arctic fence' is to blame for sub-zero winter

The brutal winter that has brought misery around the world is being caused by freezing air that is jumping the ‘Arctic fence’, scientists have revealed.

Changes in atmospheric circulation have caused a jet stream that is normally contained around the North Pole to move further South.

This left Britain and other countries not used to such sub-zero temperatures prey to the bouts of intense cold that have been the hallmark of winter. At the same time warm air has been flowing further north into the Arctic, prompting scientists to liken the phenomenon to leaving the fridge door open in a heated house.

The theory could explain why Britain, Europe and the U.S. have endured some of the coldest conditions for years, with forecasters predicting they could continue well into next month.