… and not in a good way.
The Arctic has, of course, been warming in step with anthropogenic global warming, plus more. This phenomenon has probably increased disruption to global weather systems, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, over the last decade or so.
But something somewhat novel is happening this year, presumably as a result of global warming combined with a strong El Nino. Storms are bringing extra warm conditions to the Arctic. A few days ago, the North Pole was above freezing, and over the next few days we are expecting more warm conditions in the Arctic Circle. See this post by Eric Holthaus.
Figuring that interesting things might be happening in the Arctic, I had a look at the National Snow and Ice Data Center interactive graphic showing Arctic Sea ice cover now and over time. The graphic is at the top of the post. It turns out that Arctic Sea ice is at an historic low for this date, and in fact, looks to be flatlining, at least for now. I presume the ice will expand again shortly when the current influx of warm air to the region subsides, but it will be interesting to see if we end up with a new minimal maximum of sea ice.