It’s been two years since former vice president Al Gore claimed the Arctic would be free of sea ice, and despite fears of a hastening polar “death spiral” earlier this year, the north pole looks like it could have near normal ice coverage this summer.
After experiencing its lowest maximum sea ice extent on record, the Arctic ice coverage has rebounded and is currently within its normal 30-year range. Near the end of May 2015, experts warned the Arctic “ice extent was at daily record low levels” because of early ice melting in the Bering Sea and low ice conditions in the Barents Sea.
Yet, even during the May melt, “ice [was] tracking at near-average levels” in other parts of the Arctic, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. The Arctic is nearing the peak melting time for the year and sea ice levels are well above where they were in 2012 — that year saw record low levels in the early summer months.