"Now there is a thaw," he said.
Last year in Greenland, Clinton and her counterparts from other nations took a small step toward international cooperation by agreeing to coordinate Arctic search-and-rescue missions for stranded sailors and others.
Officials are now trying to enhance the cooperation, including through joint plans to prevent oil spills in an environment that would make cleanup a logistical nightmare.
The U.S. has been championing measures such as shifting away from dirty diesel engines, agricultural burning and hydrofluorocarbons to lessen the effect of short-lived greenhouse gases that are a particularly potent source of climate change in the Arctic.
Arctic Council: http://www.arctic-council.org
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.