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Arctic High Pressure events displacing cold air to the south

Why is it so cold in part of the mid-latitudes such as Europe and eastern North America and at the same time so warm in the Arctic? Is this consistent with 'Global Warming?' As per data from NOAA and other researchers, the 2009-2010 winter saw the formation of one of the three largest Arctic high-pressure events in the historical record going back to 1850 (and it has reappeared so far for the 2010-2011 season). Unusually high pressure and warm temperatures (a blocking pattern) over the Arctic have acted to displace cold air to the south:

Numerous models and researchers have predicted that this may happen with decreasing ice cover in the Arctic. So while it has been cold over the mid-latitudes, Greenland for example, has been than 18-degrees (!) above average for the month of December 2010.