"This Arctic winter has startled even the most even-keeled scientists, with records set for low sea ice extent, high temperatures and other indicators of a climate gone awry.
Sea ice has plummeted to record lows and stayed there as pulses of unusually warm air have swept across the region, with the latest one set to reach the North Pole on Thursday. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), sea ice extent hit record lows for the months of November, December and January.
This comes on the heels of a year in which sea ice extent hit its second-lowest level on record at the end of the summer melt season in September.
The new figures for January sea ice extent, released on Tuesday, showed sea ice extent averaged 5.17 million square miles for the month, which was the lowest January extent in the 38-year satellite record. "