ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A research paper published Monday by U.S. and Canadian scientists says less sea ice in the Arctic has meant more precipitation is falling.

Lead author Ben Kopec, of Dartmouth College, says researchers looked at 20 years of precipitation data at sites in the Canadian Arctic and the Greenland Sea.

They measured isotope compositions to determine whether moisture originated in the Arctic or from lower latitudes.

They found that as sea ice diminished, more precipitation fell and more came from Arctic sources.

The researchers conclude that when sea ice decreases by 100,000 square kilometers (38,610 square miles), the percentage of local-sourced moisture increased by 18.2 percent in the Canadian Arctic and 10.8 percent in the Greenland Sea.

The authors conclude that a changed hydrologic cycle could be a major component of climate change.