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.
As millions prepare to take part in Memorial Day weekend events, showers, storms and a potential tropical system could threaten outdoor activities and travel plans during the extended weekend.
Summerlike warmth will make it feel like the 90s F at times in the eastern United States through Memorial Day weekend, despite localized rainfall.
An area of showers and thunderstorms near the Bahamas has the potential to develop into a tropical system and impact part of the East Coast of the United States during Memorial Day weekend.
The threat for severe weather, including tornadoes and flash flooding, will expand across the central United States through the end of the week.
As summer approaches, sun protection becomes a vital part of daily activity.
A large tornado moved dangerously close to Dodge City, Kansas, on Tuesday afternoon, tracking just west of the center of the city.
Udall, KS (1955)
This town 25 southeast of Wichita was destroyed by a tornado; 80 people dead.
New York, NY (1979)
A one-hour and 18 minute delay between the Pirates and Mets game due to fog.
Dallas, Ft. Worth Texas (1982)
Flooding rains in Dallas, Ft. Worth, area; over 2" in most places. Total rainfall of 13" at this point of the month, making it the wettest May since records began in 1898.