It is already lower than the average low reached in the 1990s with 2 months of melting still to go. Expectations are now that come September it will be in the top 3 lowest, even if the weather is kind.
So why is this happening?
We don't have all the answers but in theory 2020 should've been a recovery year, lowest point in the solar cycle and no strong el Nino or la Nina.
It looks like the reduction of fossil fuel use and travel has had a big part to play. The reduction in sulphur emissions and particulate has reduced the cooling gases in the short term, it also reduced contrails from aircraft which seed clouds.
This additional heat has been most noticeable over the large landmass of Central Asia, with temperatures in northern Siberia going off the charts. This has led to significant fires in areas that were formerly permafrost.
These fires have generated soot that blew across the Arctic, darkening the ice.
The unusual lack of cloud cover over the Arctic for the past two months at the time when the sun is highest and the reduced albedo caused by the soot have decimated the ice.
Things do not look good for the rest of the melt season.