According to data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center, the Arctic sea ice extent has now reached a low of 5.082 million square kilometers and is still declining. That is now less than the minimum extent of 5.101 million square kilometers recorded in 2013. In addition to 2013, the 2014 level is also lower than than the 2009 level. The only years with less ice than what we are seeing right now are 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and the disastrous year of 2012. It would take a major event for the 2014 level to fall to the level of any of those years, so it looks like 2014 will go down as having the sixth lowest Arctic sea ice level ever recorded. The minimum should be reached within the week (last year's minimum occurred on September 14th) and we will know for sure.
This is bad news all around. It was certainly hoped that the big rebound that occurred last year might be the start of a trend, but the data doesn't support that. While the hope might have been there, no one studying the Arctic sea ice thought a new trend would occur. The science and the history both indicated last year's extent was nothing more than a fluctuation in the weather and not a recovery.
This, of course, is also bad news for all of the deniers and contrarians out there that have been making claims that global warming isn't real because the sea ice has recovered to the highest level in 35 years/1980 levels/full level/record level, take your pick of the false claim (I have heard all of these and even more).
No, the sea ice extent is not recovering and claims to the contrary are not supported by science. But, isn't that typical for the contrarians? Never let good science get in the way of your claims.
I will be making a more detailed posting on this year's ice (including Antarctica and Greenland) after we hit the minimum extent in the Arctic.