Who says records can only be broken during the melting season? Just a week ago the 12 month rolling average for monthly NSIDC Arctic sea ice extent was at its lowest point on record, and this week it looks very much like global sea ice area (Arctic and Antarctic combined, as calculated by the good people of Cryosphere Today) has reached its lowest maximum peak on record:
It's a bit difficult to make out on this graph (source) if this year's peak really is the lowest on record. But as always Larry Hamilton comes to our rescue with one of his clear communication bar graphs:
Eagle eyes can also see that the 2011 global SIA max is below that of 2009 on Crysophere Today's own global sea ice area graph.
There's still a chance global SIA might shoot up, but it has declined fast due to the Arctic hurricane compressing the ice in the Chukchi Sea (more on that later), and with Antarctic sea ice area dropping fast I don't think it's going to get a chance to aim higher still. So a new record it is.
In 2-3 months the global sea ice area minimum will be hit.
Edit: in the comment section Larry Hamilton posts a link to another graph, showing the trends in the global sea ice area maximum, minimum and mean (1979-now):