Rather bizarrely the melt season in the Arctic was the fourth shortest in the Sea Ice data series that started in 1979. As you can see from the above chart, the melt started on March 21st of this year and ended on the 7th of September, which made the melt season 169 days long, the shortest since the 166 days of 1997. The short season is down not just to a very late maximum, but also an early minimum, but why that should occur in a season that saw the second lowest maximum is slightly puzzling. The spring maximum was 13 days later than average, and the autumn minimum was 4 days early than average.
Here’s a ranked list of the shortest melt season in the Arctic.
In the Antarctic as you can see there has been a lengthening of the freeze season by 6 days and a reduction of the melt season by 11 days since 1980.
I will warn you now, that I use the daily values from the series in my stats, and not the trailing five-day mean which the National Snow and Ice data Centre [NSIDC] have recently switched to, although I shouldn’t imagine that would have made much difference.