Over the next week, the Pacific side of the Arctic Ocean is projected to see temperatures 10 C (18 F) warmer than normal, with widespread melting. Meanwhile, Alaska, the coast of the Yukon and Northwest Territory and Western Siberia will all see temperatures up to 15 C (27 F) warmer than normal. Snow cover will be decimated. Both surface melting and the disappearance of snow decrease albedo, resulting in more absorption of solar energy. Barring a major change in the weather, we are primed for a major Arctic melt - but it is still pretty early.