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WASHINGTON - A new study is asserting a link between climate change and both the intensifying California drought and the polar vortex blamed for the recent harsh winter.

Usually, researchers make those links years later, but this study does it in real time.

Utah State University scientist Simon Wang who wrote the study say he hopes what he found can help researchers predict the next big weird winter.

The new study blames an unusual combination of a strong Western high pressure ridge and deep Great Lakes low pressure trough. And it says that is linked to a recently found precursor to El Nino, the world-weather changing phenomenon. And that precursor itself seems amplified by a build-up of heat-trapping greenhouse gases.

The study will soon be published the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

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