A warmer Arctic will also affect weather in the mid-latitudes – indeed, it has already begun. Take the Great Plains of the US. According to Michael MacCracken of the Climate Institute in Washington DC, this region’s weather is very much determined by clashes between cold air masses coming down from the Arctic and warm air masses from the Gulf of Mexico. As the Arctic blasts are less cold than they used to be, the Gulf’s warm air tends to push further northwards. The result is a northward shift of weather patterns, and more extreme storms and heavy precipitation events in regions not used to them.