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Global warming may be driving the East Coast chill

Niagara Falls, frozen
The cold snap has nearly frozen over the American side of Niagra falls. Photo: Geoff Robins / AFP via Getty Images

This weekend could be the coldest on record for several areas across the Northeast, brought on by what several scientists say is a weakening polar vortex. Meanwhile, the rest of the world is currently experiencing warmer-than-average temperatures, including both the North and South poles. The connection between these seemingly contradictory weather patterns may be climate change.

The bottom line: The consensus among researchers is that the Arctic is warming faster than any other region in the world. The resulting loss of sea ice in the area could be weakening the polar vortex, allowing cold air from the North Pole to be misplaced over lower latitudes, like North America, and thus creating these cold snaps. But the extent of that link is debated.