Above are ice charts from AARI, St. Petersburg for the annual maximum weeks in Mid-March, 2008 to 2019 inclusive. The brown color signifies Old Ice that survived at least one summer’s melt season. The Arctic heart is beating clear and strong. Note differences between diminished years like 2012 and 2013 compared to more robust recent years.
For context, note that the average daily maximum has been ~15M, so on average the extent shrinks to 30% of the March daily high before growing back the following winter.