It looks like someone pulled the trigger. While extent and area are still hundreds of thousands square kilometers behind 2012, Siberia and Alaska enjoy already sunny temperatures above 30°C. Also sea ice concentration on the Asian side is significantly lower from pole to coast than along the western part of the Arctic Basin.[MORE]
Image above shows partly land fast ice and the floating ice pack in a greenish color indicating heavy surface melting along the East Siberian coast. Click the image and zoom into Chukchi and Beaufort Sea to find similar colors.