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WASHINGTON (AP) — Though this is the time the Arctic is supposed to be refreezing, scientists say sea ice there hit record low levels for November. In the crucial Barents Sea, floating ice decreased when it would be expected to grow.

Arctic sea ice extended for 3.5 million square miles (9.1 million square kilometers) — 309,000 square miles (800,000 square kilometers) below the record set in 2006. The National Snow and Ice Data Center says it was the seventh month this year to set a record low.

Some Arctic air was 18 degrees warmer (10 degrees Celsius) than normal and seawater was 7 degrees (4 degrees Celsius) above normal, preventing sea ice from forming. Data center scientist Julienne Stroeve blamed natural weather patterns and man-made global warming.