As of February 25th the sea ice covering the Arctic was at it's maximum for the winter. However, that maximum is the lowest amount of winter Arctic sea ice ever recorded.
Scientists from NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center say this winter's ice growing season in the Arctic ended two weeks earlier that any year since 1981. They measured the 2014-2015 winter sea ice at 5.6 million square miles which is down from past years. At blame are warm southerly winds that both push the ice north and melt it. Arctic sea ice coverage has been down for both summer and winter cycles during the past several decades.
Click on the link to see a 15 second time lapse of this years 5 months of Arctic sea ice growth.