01/12/2012 07:05 EST | Updated 03/13/2012 05:12 EDT

Research suggests warmer summers could be causing colder winters

International scientists have some bad news for those wondering when global warming will kick in during Canadian winters.

Researchers suggest in a newly released paper that rising temperatures during the other seasons are actually cooling off winters in North America.

They looked at data from around the northern hemisphere to try to explain why winter temperatures in the U.S. and southern Canada haven't risen as fast as they have in spring, summer and fall.

They found that warmer Arctic air and more ice-free water lead to more moisture in the northern atmosphere, which in turn dumps more snow over Siberia.

That heavier snowpack creates a dome of cold air over the pole, which eventually spills down into Canada and the U.S.

Scientist Judah Cohen says the trend is likely to continue until global warming advances to the point where precipitation in autumn falls as rain, at which point winter temperatures will warm up more quickly.