Tracking the Arctic sea ice
Summer sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is not expected to reach a record minimum this year. The record minimum was set in 2012, when Arctic sea ice cover shrank to 3.41 million square kilometres (1.32 million square miles).
This year cooler than average conditions have prevailed. The extent of sea ice is greater than this time last year but it is still below the long term average and further melting is expected in the next few weeks.
The National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado says that the pattern of unusually low pressure centered near the pole in 2013 has helped to spread the ice out. This is consistent with generally cool conditions over much of the Arctic Ocean, inhibiting the melting.
BBC Weather's Jay Wynne explains more.