Last month I tentatively argued that due to increased transport through Fram Strait, relatively high temperatures (still freezing, of course), and a slow growth of ice in the Bering and Okhotsk Sea (see the latest NSIDC analysis), the total volume gap between this year and previous years would be reduced some more. But in fact, the gap has mostly remained the same. The difference with the lowest year, 2013 (because of the preceding melting season), has decreased from 2921 to 2496 km3, but 2015 has 1291 km3 more volume than last year at the end of January, compared to the 1062 km3 last month.
2015 is still on a par with years like 2008 and 2009, and well above the low volume years of the post-2010 era, as can be seen on the more detailed PIOMAS sea ice volume graph produced by Wipneus:
The trend line on the PIOMAS sea ice volume anomaly graph is still hovering in the positive two standard deviation zone, as compared to the linear trend: