This years area is following the same path as recent previous years - the area is increasing until the 1st week in May and then rapidly falling.Is this due to thin ice separating into small blocks which drift apart but stay above the 15% ice concentration? This would then be quicker to melt than large blocks.
A plot showing a few selected days changes over time - note that 7th May has a significant positive slope!
A plot of rate of change per day - area starts shrinking around 7th March and starts growing around 17th September
The usual Extent plot!