From the article:
The North Pole may be briefly ice-free by September as global warming melts away Arctic sea ice, according to scientists from the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado.
"Last year, we had sort of a perfect weather pattern to get rid of ice to open up that Northwest Passage," the center's senior research scientist Mark Serreze said. "This year, a different pattern can set up so maybe we'll preserve some ice there. We're in a wait-and-see mode right now. We'll see what happens."
The brief lack of ice at the top of the globe will not bring any immediate consequences, he said.
"From the viewpoint of the science, the North Pole is just another point in the globe, but it does have this symbolic meaning," Serreze said. "There's supposed to be ice at the North Pole. The fact that we may not have any by the end of this summer could be quite a symbolic change."
Serreze said it's "just another indicator of the disappearing Arctic sea ice cover" but that it is happening so soon is "just astounding to me."