The LiveScience staff writer Becky Oskin remarks that instead ‘of snow and ice whirling on the wind, a foot-deep aquamarine lake now sloshes around a webcam stationed at the North Pole. The meltwater lake started forming July 13, following two weeks of warm weather in the high Arctic. In early July, temperatures were 2 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit (1 to 3 degrees Celsius) higher than average over much of the Arctic Ocean, according to the National Snow & Ice Data Center. Meltwater ponds sprout more easily on young, thin ice, which now accounts for more than half of the Arctic’s sea ice. The ponds link up across the smooth surface of the ice, creating a network that traps heat from the sun. Thick and wrinkly multi-year ice, which has survived more than one freeze-thaw season, is less likely sport a polka-dot network of ponds because of its rough, uneven surface. July is the melting month in the Arctic, when sea ice shrinks fastest. An Arctic cyclone, which can rival a hurricane in strength, is forecast for this week, which will further fracture the ice and churn up warm ocean water, hastening the summer melt. The Arctic hit a record low summer ice melt last year on Sept. 16, 2012, the smallest recorded since satellites began tracking the Arctic ice in the 1970s’.
Already last May , Denise Chow wrote that the ‘Arctic experienced an extended period of warm temperatures about 3.6 million years ago — before the onset of the ice ages — at a time when the concentration of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere was not much higher than the levels being recorded today, a new study finds. The research suggests that an ice-free Arctic may be a reality in the near future. An international team of researchers analyzed sediment cores collected in 2009 from Lake El’gygytgyn (pronounced El-Gee-Git-Kin), the oldest deep lake in the northeast Russian Arctic. The samples enabled the scientists to peer back into the Arctic’s climate history dating from 2.2 million to 3.6 million years ago, during the middle Pliocene and early Pleistocene epochs. The researchers found that during this time, the Arctic was very warm, with summer temperatures about 14 degrees Fahrenheit (8 degrees Celsius) warmer than they are in the region today, said Julie Brigham-Grette, a professor in the department of geosciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and lead author of the new study, which was published [on 9 May 2013] in the journal Science’.
 Becky Oskin, “North Pole Now a Lake” LiveScience (23 July 2013). http://www.livescience.com/38347-north-pole-ice-melt-lake.html#sthash.PGDabESY.dpuf.
 Denise Chow, “Ice-Free Arctic May Be Near, Study Suggests”LiveScience (9 May 2013). http://www.livescience.com/29471-arctic-climate-change-global-warming.html#sthash.9EOlPso0.dpuf’.