During the 1980’s there was a lot of old, thick ice in the Chukchi and East Siberian Seas.
Starting in 1988, the winds shifted, and the older ice began getting rapidly pushed out into the North Atlantic. By about 10 years ago, essentially all of the older ice was gone from the East Siberian Sea, which led to the series of low summer extents beginning in 2007.
About five years ago, the winds reversed, and older ice is again being retained in the western Arctic. The ice is circulating clockwise and may start advancing into the East Siberian Sea, which would mean a return to the large summer extents of the 1980s.