The combination image below shows sea surface temperatures on July 6 for each of these years, with the location highlighted by a green circle:
2014: -0.8°C or 30.6°F
2015: 6.2°C or 43.2°F
2016: 8.3°C or 47.0°F
2017: 14.4°C or 57.9°F
2018: 16.6°C or 61.9°F
The situation reflects the rapid decline of Arctic sea ice over the years and constitutes a stark warning of imminent sea ice collapse and its consequences for the world at large.
[ click on images to enlarge ]The image on the right shows the sea surface temperature on July 18, 2018, at that location. It was as warm as 17.2°C or 63°F near Svalbard. This compares to a sea surface temperature of 5°C or 41.1°F in 1981-2011 at that location (at the green circle). For more background on the warm water near Svalbard, also see the earlier post Accelerating Warming of the Arctic Ocean.
The images illustrate why sea ice has fallen dramatically in volume, especially so where sea currents push warm water from the Atlantic Ocean underneath the sea