Mild 2013 cuts Arctic a break, warming woes remain


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Arctic took a bit of a break from its rapid melting this year. But a government report card says global warming is still dramatically altering the top of the world.

The warming trend is reducing the number of reindeer and shrinking snow and ice, while increasing certain fish and extending the growing season.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued its report Thursday. It portrays conditions in 2013 as moderate compared to the roasting 2012. Overall Arctic temperatures didn't soar quite as high, and Greenland ice sheets and the summer sea ice didn't melt as much.

But NOAA says the long-term trends are ominous. Average Arctic temperatures have increased 3.6 degrees since the 1960s, rising twice as fast as the rest of the world.

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