This year could be the warmest on record since climate monitoring in the Arctic Ocean began, a meteorological official said Tuesday.

"This year, the water is unusually warm in the Arctic Ocean and the summer ice has significantly declined, and is further to the north than usual with only one-year ice present. The ice, due to the influence of warm air and water, has been greatly reduced," Sergei Balyasnikov, the press secretary of the Russian hydrometeorological service's Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, said.

Balyasnikov said that the trends seen in recent years are continuing with the late 1990s seeing the start of warming in the Arctic. "But presently, the institute's scientists believe we are at the peak of warming," he said.

The press secretary said Russia had started monitoring the Arctic climate in 1937, when the Arctic was also relatively warm, but "compared to then, the warming is continuing in a far more noticeable and severe way."