There is a lot of thick ice in the western Arctic, which will be difficult to melt this summer.
That does not guarantee a high summer extent minimum however, as 2007 also started with a lot of thick ice in the western Arctic. During August/September 2007, very strong southerly winds from Siberia compacted the ice towards the Canadian side, and caused a low summer extent minimum.
So my forecast is that the Al Gore/John Kerry forecast of ice-free 2014. is not going to happen.
Do I get a Nobel Prize?