The study, funded in part by the National Academy of Sciences, examined the last 32 years worth of climate data, computer models, and weather-related phenomena. They have found a disturbance in the air currents circulating the Northern hemisphere.
Air currents move up from the Equator to the North Pole, bring warm air with them. When the currents move back towards the Equator, they bring cold air with them. Instead of alternating back and forth, the scientists found the currents would pause or stop, leaving the hot or the cold air in place, creating havoc on the surface.
These pauses in the air currents help explain record heat waves in Europe and the United States, flooding in Pakistan, stagnant pollution in China, and other weather-related events.
If the study is confirmed by other independent analysis, it could be a first step in understanding the mechanisms behind climate change. It would allow governments to make informed decisions regarding environmental policy moving forward.