What is happening is that the sea ice has not yet been able to significantly recover thanks to a weather oddity. The real cold air is sitting over in Siberia while the open ocean picked up additional heat thanks to an early clearing in the spring. Thus we are over a month or two late on the actual ice freeze. This then coincides with the spring retreat in the Antarctic sea ice and we get this wonderful graph.
You could really convince yourself that something has gone seriously wrong. Why the press has not run with it yet escapes me.
What is really true is that we are having an oddly warmer arctic that may even suppress the ice total this year. Again we are seeing conditions that drove the Medieval warm spellb a thousand years ago and hopefully this lasts as long.
As noted before there is an apparent thousand year cycle driven by a rotating mass shift in the Antarctic and naturally leads to a long climate cycle. It opens and closes the South Atlantic or more correctly moderates inflow and outflow through the South Atlantic.
Now that the Northern Hemisphere is a half degree warmer we are able to get more variation in the Arctic which does lead to a major ice reduction there. Again marginal changes have significant knock on effects.