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Arctic ice recovers from last year's record low

| Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, 8:39 p.m.
Am image provided by the National Snow and Ice Data Center shows the Arctic sea ice extent on Sept. 13, 2013 in white. The orange-colored border surrounding it shows the median extent for Sept. 13 from 1981-2010.

WASHINGTON — The amount of ice in the Arctic Ocean has recovered from last year's record low.

The ice cap at the North Pole melts in the summer and grows in winter. The National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo., said on Friday that Arctic ice was at 1.97 million square miles when it stopped melting late last week.

It takes scientists several days to confirm sea ice has hit its lowest level and is growing again.

The minimum level reached this summer is about 24 percent below the 20th-century average, but 50 percent above last year when a dramatic melt shattered records that go back to 1979.

Center director Mark Serreze says cooler air triggered a “considerable recovery.”

He cautioned, “We are not seeing a long-term recovery here. No way.”

Since 1979, Arctic sea ice has been shrinking at a “pretty darn big” rate of about 12 percent per decade, he said.

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