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December 30 2012
POLAR storms are among the most vicious weather systems on the planet, but we may soon be wishing there were more of them.
These mini-hurricanes occur in the Arctic winter, when freezing air flows out of the region and over the warmer Atlantic Ocean. As the Arctic warms in the coming decades, there are expected to be fewer of them.
But without the storms, the rest of the world could face weather disruption. They are vital to the global thermohaline circulation in the ocean, which underpins ocean currents and weather systems, say Alan Condron at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Ian Renfrew at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK.
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