He contributed to the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment report in 2004, titled "Impacts of a Warming Arctic." The report was produced by the inter-governmental Actic Council. Based on four years of work by 300 scientists, the report declared that greenhouse gases from human activity were rapidly warming the Arctic and speeding up melting of the Arctic ice sheet.
Obama also nominated Edward S. Itta to the commission. He was the mayor of the North Slope Borough in Alaska from 2005-2011, in addition to previously holding a number of staff positions.