The amount of ice in the Arctic Ocean shrank this summer to the sixth lowest level, but that's much higher than last year's record low.
The ice cap at the North Pole melts in the summer and grows in winter. Its general shrinking trend is a sign of global warming. The National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo., said Friday that Arctic ice was at 1.97 million square miles when it stopped melting late last week.
That level 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 recovery from last year.