January 21, 2015

Worked to Protect the Alaskan Arctic

Over the past 60 years, climate change has caused the Alaskan Arctic to warm twice as rapidly as the rest of the United States, and will continue to transform the Arctic as its consequences grow more severe. Higher atmospheric temperatures have led to a steady and dramatic reduction in Arctic sea ice, widespread glacier retreat, increasing coastal erosion, more acidic oceans, earlier spring snowmelt, thawing permafrost, drier landscapes, and more extensive insect outbreaks and wildfires, thus changing the accessibility and natural features of this remote region.

President Obama established the Arctic Executive Steering Committee to coordinate national efforts in the Arctic, and to strengthen cooperation among Federal agencies, State, local, tribal, academic, private and other groups to mitigate the impacts of climate change in the Arctic.

(Left) “The President tours Kenai Fjords National Park by boat. The trip to Alaska may have been the best domestic trip of his Presidency. Being on a boat on a picturesque day certainly helped.” (Courtesy Barack Obama Presidential Library) (Right) “‘He was just excited to see you,’ one of the salmon fisherwoman exclaimed after a salmon spawned on the President’s feet at Kanakanak Beach in Bristol Bay, Alaska.” (Courtesy Barack Obama Presidential Library)

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