An investigation by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) into possible scientific misconduct by scientist Charles Monnett concluded that no misconduct occurred.
The question of misconduct came about because of a report written in 2006 by Monnett, a wildlife researcher with BOEM and colleague Jeffery Gleason, concerning polar bear deaths in the Arctic, according to BOEM.
In the report, the scientists concluded that the four dead polar bears seen along the coast of Alaska in September 2004, drowned while swimming during a storm with high winds (see graph below). They further stated more polar bear deaths could be expected due to the reduced amount of sea ice observed in the Arctic during the months of September and October.
The team had been conducting an aerial whale survey when they spotted the dead bears floating in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea.
After receiving complaints of possible scientific misconduct in March 2010, officials with the Interior's Office of the Inspector General opened the investigation.
The investigation took place over a period of more than two years. In a written statement, BOEM press secretary Theresa Eisenman said, "We have confirmed that the findings do not support a conclusion that the individual scientists involved engaged in scientific misconduct."
Mentioned in Al Gore's movie, "An Inconvenient Truth", the bears have become a symbol of the threat of climate change.
Monnett was informed of the decision on Friday.
Tropical Depression Two has lost its battle to become the next Atlantic tropical storm, but it will still increase shower activity across the Caribbean to end the week.
After temperatures briefly climb to typical midsummer levels, another cooldown will roll into the Midwest and expand to the East for the last part of July.
A potent storm system moving out of the Northwest United States will bring an elevated risk of tornadoes to parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan on Thursday.
Severe thunderstorms that blasted areas of Arkansas with damaging winds and heavy rainfall will continue to race through eastern Texas.
Fresh cooler and less humid air will settle over the Washington, D.C., area for Thursday and Friday.
As California continues to be plagued by intense drought conditions, some surfers are reaping what may be one of very few benefits to such a dry season.
Seattle, WA (1991)
99 degrees, all-time record high for July.
Heat Wave: Location New Record(F): Old Record(F)/Year: Washington, D.C. 101 100/1987 Philadelphia, PA 99T 99/1978 Atlantic City, NJ 100 96/1987 Harrisburg, PA 103 98/1987 Baltimore, MD 103 98/1987 (Custom House)
New Zealand (1995)
Extreme cold - a bay in Littleton Harbor froze for the first time in "living memory".