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.
It is a rare piece of good news for a region that has witnessed a rapid decline in both area cover and thickness in recent years.
But don't jump to conclusions, the BBC warns, because the total amount of arctic ice still is much less than it was decades ago.
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