There has been a 29 per cent increase in the amount of ocean covered with ice compared to this time last year, the equivalent of 533,000 square miles.
In a rebound from 2012's record low, an unbroken ice sheet more than half the size of Europe already stretches from the Canadian islands to Russia's northern shores, days before the annual re-freeze is even set to begin.
The Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific had remained blocked by pack-ice all year, forcing some ships to change their routes.
One ship has now managed to pass through, completing its journey on September 27.
A leaked report to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) seen by the Mail on Sunday, has led some scientists to claim that the world is heading for a period of cooling that will not end until the middle of this century.
But that didn't stop Greenpeace from trying to scare children last month with a video of a sweaty, beleaguered Santa Claus threatening to call off Christmas because the North Pole is melting.