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It's freezing cold in Europe but much

warmer than usual in the Arctic


By Agence France-Presse, adapted by Newsela staff on 03.05.18
Word Count 467
Level 560L

A child plays with a snowman in St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy, on February 28, 2018, as Europe remained in the grip of a
blast of Siberian weather, accounting for at least 24 deaths and carpeting palm-lined Mediterranean beaches in snow. Photo by
Andrea Pattaro/AFP/Getty Images

Europe is in a deep freeze. At the same time, the North Pole has record high temperatures. This
pattern has repeated in the last few years. Scientists are wondering if climate change is making
this happen. It may be turning winter weather upside down.

The change has been very clear.

A cold front came to Europe from Russia. It has spread below-zero temperatures across Europe.
Beaches with palm trees are covered with snow.

At the same time, the North Pole is warming up. Temperatures there are above freezing.

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Experts said this points toward climate change. Most scientists agree that climate change is
caused by humans. People use fossil fuels like oil and coal. It is how we heat our homes and
power our cars. Fossil fuels make greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases trap heat in the air. This
causes temperatures to rise.

Arctic Is Getting Warmer

The Arctic is the cold part of the planet to the far north. Climate change has changed it over the
last five years. The Arctic has warmed twice as fast as the Earth's average.

Etienne Kapikian is a French scientist. He said the warmer weather in the Arctic and the cold front
in Europe are connected.

Other scientists say this is not yet proven for sure.

They can explain how the strange weather happens, though.

There is a lot of freezing cold air in the sky over the Arctic. It usually stays locked up there.
Sometimes these winds start moving slower. They also get hotter.

Unusual Weather Is Happening More Often

When that happens, there is a chance they break out of their pattern. Then the cold air can move
to other places. It's normal for this to happen. It usually happens 1 out of every 2 years.

The problem is that it's getting more serious. In the last 20 years, it has happened more. It has
caused bigger changes in temperatures, too.

Marlene Kretschmer is a climate scientist in Germany.

"The global warming trend is clear," she said. Global warming is already causing heatwaves.
Rising seas are making storms bigger.

Northern Europe and Asia are different though. The temperature there is colder since 1990,
Kretschmer said.

Global Warming Could Be The Reason

Why would that happen?

It might be a result of having less ice in the ocean. There's not enough ice to take in the sun's
rays. So instead the ocean takes in the rays. It gets warmer. Then this heat goes into the air. That
changes the wind patterns. Then the Arctic wind makes Europe and Asia colder. That's what
scientists think might be happening.

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Kretschmer said that it's hard to connect global warming with any one event. The pattern shows
that it might be connected, though. Global warming might be heating the Arctic and cooling
Europe and Asia.

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Quiz

1 Read the first paragraph of the article.

Europe is in a deep freeze. At the same time, the North Pole has record
high temperatures. This pattern has repeated in the last few years.
Scientists are wondering if climate change is making this happen. It may
be turning winter weather upside down.

What does the author mean by "upside down"?

(A) Places everywhere are getting warmer.

(B) Places everywhere are getting colder.

(C) Places that should be either warm or cold are the opposite of what they should be.

(D) Temperatures are changing everywhere faster than they should be.

2 Read the selection from the section "Global Warming Could Be The Reason."

It might be a result of having less ice in the ocean. There's not enough
ice to take in the sun's rays. So instead the ocean takes in the rays. It
gets warmer.

Which words could replace "a result" WITHOUT changing the meaning of the sentence?

(A) an effect

(B) a cause

(C) a failure

(D) a source

3 Why is the current pattern of temperatures in Europe and the Arctic important?

(A) It shows Europe and Asia have similar weather.

(B) It shows a connection to global warming.

(C) It has covered palm trees on beaches with snow.

(D) It has kept cold air in the sky over the Arctic.

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4 Why do scientists think the weather changes are getting more serious?

(A) People in Europe are not seeing as much snow as they used to.

(B) People are using more fossil fuels than they used to.

(C) The weather changes have made more cold weather happen in the Arctic.

(D) The weather changes have happened more and caused bigger changes in
temperature.

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