“…The rapid melt north of Alaska was part of a larger phenomenon. Sea ice across the entire Arctic reached record-low levels for this time of year, NSIDC stated, slightly below the previous record set in June 2010. It was also lower than the extent in June 2007; Arctic sea ice reached its lowest extent ever recorded by satellite in September 2007.
In the first half of June 2012, the Beaufort Sea was a “hotspot” of rapid retreat, driven by a high-pressure pattern over the region that kept skies clear at the very time of year when sunlight lasts the longest. In addition, larger-scale climate patterns in early June 2012 favored ice retreat along the coastlines of Alaska and Siberia. As of June 18, temperatures were above freezing over much of the sea ice in the Arctic, and snow had melted earlier than normal, leading to warming on land.”