By August of 2007, a record 65 percent of the ice cover in the Northern Hemisphere had been lost. Reports suggest this was due to a combination of warm ocean currents, fluke winds, and unusually sunny weather.
There had been some hope that the ice would recover but now scientists report the North Pole may melt this summer.
Thicker ice, pushed against the Canadian continental shelf by weather and Earth's rotation, would still survive the summer. However, even conservative estimates predict the Arctic will be completely ice free in the summer by 2100.
David Barber, of the University of Manitoba said "We jokingly call [perennial ice] an endangered species... It's on its way out. And so we're studying it as quickly as we can, because there isn't going to be any of it left pretty soon."
Image: Sea ice concentration in 2003. Credit: NASATweet