The season does keep getting longer, but it is way too soon to declare we are in the melt season. We are still a couple days shy of the Vernal Equinox i.e. Astronomical Spring. While heat transport by sea water currents does encourage melting all summer it is not powerful enough to shrink the ice much without warm air and some sunshine to tip the balance over that last few degrees from frozen to melting. Anyone who objectively looks at the north polar temperature records can see that temperatures bob around 15-25 degrees C below freezing from November to February every winter.
Even this winter with all those 'anomalous warm fronts' the actual temperature was still -10 C or lower through the winter months with possible minor exceptions that didn't really change the overall picture. The sea water just a few feet below the ice remains just above freezing as it has for most of the last 3 million years since the north tipped over into the ice age climate regime. Until we move into the climate regime where either the water stays warm enough to prevent ice formation even in arctic night, or the air temperature remains above freezing even in the arctic night, there will continue to be sea ice forming in the winter darkness in the arctic.
Let me be clear, we could experience a warm ocean event if the sea ice melts early enough in the season that the water column absorbs enough energy in polar summer and fall to stay warm all winter. On the other side of the coin if the jet stream three cell circulation pattern ceases to exist and the one cell pattern replaces it that will lead to warm air constantly flowing into the Arctic which will prevent ice formation even in polar winter. As time goes on I am leaning more and more to the latter effect being the crucial change, because even if all the floating ice melts away in September there simply isn't enough time to build up the kind of warm sea water needed to prevent ice formation. Remember, late in September the sun sets at the pole and it gets progressively darker in the Arctic Ocean basin right up until early March when Twilight arrives to start bringing some indirect light.
I should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, design a building, write, balance accounts, build a wall, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, pitch manure, program a computer, cook, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.