The sea, which is known as the “birthplace of ice,” thawed much earlier in 2020 than in any previous year since 1979, and has not yet re-frozen as of late October. Arctic sea ice coverage usually shrinks in the spring and summer, levels out in September and increases in the fall and winter to reach maximum levels in March.
Scientists attribute the lack of ice to early summer warming and an extreme heatwave in Siberia, as well as warm Atlantic currents flowing into the Arctic. Climate change has reduced sea ice coverage in the Arctic Ocean in recent decades, with 2019 tying for second-lowest in recorded history.
Water temperatures are about 5 degrees higher then normal!