It's not like this is a big deviation from the rest of the this year... '08 has had most months in the 2nd or 3rd warmest recorded, but this october stands out as amazingly warm compared to all previous records. Mainland US was pretty average actually, but the remainder of the world was far above averages.
October 2008 Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent was the third lowest on record for the month of October, 34% below the mean from 1979-2000.
[url=http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=1158]... report at the National Snow and Ice data center[/url]
Concentration anomoly and trends can be found [url=http://nsidc.org/cgi-bin/bist/bist.pl?config=seaice_extent_trends]here[/... if you're interested.
"A linear increase in heat in the Arctic Ocean will result in a non-linear, and accelerating, loss of sea ice."
– Norbert Untersteiner, Professor Emeritus, University of Washington, July 2006