It's been a freakishly warm start to the year - the warmest in the modern record. The last few weeks have been blowtorch times in the Arctic, with unprecedentedly early Greenland melting and breakup of sea ice. It's early, and weather is still the ultimate player, but early signs for Arctic ice are not good. Both Atlantic and Pacific sides have a lot of weak ice, and early snow melt in Alaska threatens to speed things up in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas.
Of course it doesn't help our clarity that the prime sensor for sea ice, the DMSP F17 37 GHz channel has gone out, but it could be an interesting year.