To be consistent with NOAA's use of 30-year periods for the official "climate normals," the National Snow and Ice Data Center switched its baseline period for sea ice analyses from 1979-2000 to 1981-2010. Compared to the new normal, the low ice conditions of the recent past will appear less abnormal than they used to.
Has global warming stopped? That's what some people claim, based on global temperatures recorded since 1998. But, scientists say, not setting a new record high temperature each year doesn't mean the globe is cooling.