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Why was March so cold? Blame Greenland

March 2013 will go down on record as the coldest March since the year 2000. According to the National Weather Service, a stationary mass of warm air blocked the normal flow of air from east to west. This flow is known as the jet stream and it usually brings more warm air from the Southern Hemisphere to the Northern Hemisphere as the North warms in the spring. This March, the warm high pressure system redirected currents and blasted the Northern Hemisphere with cold Arctic air. Research suggests that there is a link between the retreat of Arctic sea ice and these high-pressure blocking systems. New research published in the journal Nature found that thin, low-level clouds may be exacerbating the Arctic melting. These clouds are thin enough to allow sunlight to reach the surface, but thick enough to trap thermal radiation reflected from the surface.

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