The National Snow and Ice Data Centre has just released mid-month analysis. A few snippets:
As of July 17, 2011, Arctic sea ice extent was 7.56 million square kilometers (2.92 million square miles), 2.24 million square kilometers (865,000 square miles) below the 1979 to 2000 average. Sea ice is particularly low in the Barents, Kara, and Laptev Seas (the far northern Atlantic region), Hudson Bay and Baffin Bay.
During the first half of July, a high-pressure cell persisted over the northern Beaufort Sea, as it did in June, and is linked to the above-average air temperatures over much of the Arctic Ocean. To date in July, air temperatures over the North Pole were 6 to 8 degrees Celsius (11 to 14 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than normal, while temperatures along the coasts of the Laptev and East Siberian seas were 3 to 5 degrees Celsius (5 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than average. By contrast, temperatures through the first half of July in the Kara Sea have been 2 to 5 degrees Celsius (4 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit) lower than average.
Data processed by researchers Thorsten Markus and Jeffrey Miller at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center reveal that melt began earlier than normal in both the Chukchi Sea, just north of the Bering Strait, and the Barents, Kara, and Laptev seas. Surface melting on the sea ice began from two weeks to two months earlier than the 1979 to 2000 average in these areas. However, in Baffin Bay and Hudson Bay, a cool spring led to a later start for surface melt, especially in Hudson Bay. Subsequent warm conditions have nevertheless led to rapid ice melt.
Even though some mountain regions in the U.S. and Canada saw greater-than-normal snow cover, snow cover for the Northern Hemisphere as a whole for May and June was the second lowest since the start of snow cover records in 1966.
Read the whole report here.