Data from Europe's Cryosat spacecraft suggests there were almost 9,000 cu km of ice at the end of this year's melt season. This is close to 50% more than in the corresponding period in 2012.
But scientists caution against reading too much into one year's "recovery". "Although the recovery of Arctic sea ice is certainly welcome news, it has to be considered against the backdrop of changes that have occurred over the last few decades," said Prof Andy Shepherd of University College London, UK. "It's estimated that there were around 20,000 cu km of Arctic sea ice each October in the early 1980s, and so today's minimum still ranks among the lowest of the past 30 years,"