Arctic Ocean surface air temperatures were much colder same date October 17 2012, NOAA (above). -20 to -25 for significant areas. Compared to 2016 which was about -10 C daily average at coldest, indicating the mere beginning of winter at the densest pack location.
2012 densest pack was largely unscathed compared to 2016. Winter 2012 started a whole lot more over the Arctic Ocean dense pack area with stable over the sea ice pack Anticyclones in darkness, the densest pack usually can do that every autumn. 2016 densest pack suffered a grand de-coiling wave at about sea ice minima of record, along with dispersive atmospheric circulation caused by persistent Cyclones North of Beaufort sea.
From this evidence, we may attempt a prognosis, since 2016 coldest air build up is over Northern Siberia and mainly at the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, and since the Arctic Ocean is surrounded by more land than sea , we may surmise that the Arctic Ocean area is uniquely warmer by itself,
will cool by extension from the coldest Continental zones, 2016 densest pack has just started consolidating well after 2012,, and the sea ice of 2016 is in far worse shape than 2012, but in a dispersed way, which may confuse unless we look at everything. WD October 17, 2016