Today is the winter solstice. If you live on the Northern Hemisphere of our planet Earth, today is the shortest day of the year. In a sense it's the start of the countdown towards a new melting season, with the Sun slowly creeping northward a bit every day, although the sea ice still has a couple of months to expand and thicken some more, of course.
Most of you who are interested in the Arctic, probably know that during the 2015 AGU Fall Meeting NOAA put out its annual Arctic Report Card. The report contains a lot of details on everything concerning the Arctic in 2015, and that mostly means melting. Melting sea ice, melting glaciers, snow cover loss, etc., and the consequences thereof.
There's a very good article by Yereth Rosen on the ADN Arctic Newswire website, and Robertscribbler also put a blog post up today, but if you want a quick, visual summary, there's this video that NOAA put out last week:
Some other news concerning the Arctic that received traction in the media lately, is this new paper by Yeager et al. that was published in Geophysical Research Letters two weeks ago. Its title Predicted slowdown in the rate of Atlantic sea ice loss lacks the nuance that what is actually meant is winter sea ice loss, but it's explained in the rest of the text. Strangely enough, a paper by the same authors also appeared on the Nature website last week in which the nuance is omitted entirely, in both title (Possible pause in Arctic sea-ice loss) and text. Then again, the rest of the text is behind a pay-wall (edit: never mind, I have been informed that it's just a reference to the GRL paper, not a paper in itself).
Either way, the theory is that a weakened Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) will prevent warm Atlantic waters from going deep into the Arctic, and thus in winter sea ice will expand. See this informative Science Codex article for further details and quotes from the paper's researchers, such as this one: