Pushed high by the El Niño warmth emanating from the Pacific, Arctic temperatures have been tens of degrees Celsius higher than normal. As one could reasonably expect, this is affecting the sea ice up there.
"The average Arctic sea ice extent for January was 410,000 square miles (7.14 percent) below the 1981–2010 average. This was the smallest January extent since records began in 1979 and 35,000 square miles smaller than the previous record of 2011..."
Of course, the next winters could be colder than this one (I sure hope they will be), and the ice area might be larger in those colder winters. But This Does Not Bode Well for the future up there in the not-so-frozen North.