This summer's melt of Arctic sea ice has not been as profound as in the last two years, scientists said as the ice began its annual Autumn recovery.
At its smallest extent this summer, on 12 September, the ice covered 5.10 million sq km (1.97 million sq miles).
This was larger than the minima seen in the last two years, and leaves 2007's record low of 4.1 million sq km (1.6 million sq miles) intact.
But scientists note the long-term trend is still downwards.
They note that at this year's minimum, the ice covered 24% less ocean than for the 1979-2000 average.
The analysis is compiled from satellite readings at the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado.
The satellite measurements from the National Snow and Ice Center in Boulder, Colorado showed an increase in the extent of minimum sea ice this summer to two million square miles (5.1 million square km).
This is an increase of 224,000 square miles (580,000 square km) on last year and a 375,000 square miles increase (970,000 square km) on 2007 which was the lowest on record.
there was more ice this September than the record low set in 2007 — about one-third of a million square miles more. Last year ranked No. 2.
IF MAN-MADE CO2 WAS CAUSING GLOBAL WARMING THEN - SINCE GLOBAL ATMOSPHERIC CO2 HAS RISEN STEADILY/CONSTANTLY - THIS WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE.
IOW: AGW = BS.