Obama In Arctic To Show Climate Change Threat
The US President is under fire for demanding action on global warming while giving the go-ahead for oil exploration in Alaska.
Barack Obama has become the first sitting US president to touch down in the Arctic - and promised to save remote communities from the ravages of climate change.
Mr Obama flew into the town of Kotzebue, a community of 3,000 people which is battling coastal erosion caused by melting ice and rising sea levels.
The President's three-day visit to the wild and remote northwestern state is aimed at raising awareness of the urgent need for action on climate change.
The President joined children in a performance of native Yu'pik dancing
The final day of the tour saw him meet Alaskans who say their subsistence way of life is under threat.
Mr Obama repeated dire warnings of the catastrophe that awaits the world if climate change is ignored.
He also announced a series of initiatives to help Alaskans survive the changing environmental and economic landscape.
En route to Kotzebue, Obama flew over the Native Alaskan community of Kivilina.
The tiny town of 400 people is threatened with needing to relocate because rising sea levels could cut it off.
The President said: "If another country threatened to wipe out an American town we'd do everything in our power to protect it. Well, climate change poses the same threat right now.
"That's why I care so deeply about it."
Mr Obama had earlier visited the town of Dillingham, perched on Bristol Bay and the source of 40% of the wild caught seafood in the US.
Locals are concerned over plans for a gold and copper mine and for oil exploration.
After meeting fisherwomen on the banks of the Nushagak river, he said: "It is so critical we make sure we protect this incredible natural resource, not just for the people who livelihood depends on it but for the entire country."
The President was treated to a performance of native Yu'pik dancing from students at the Dillingham Middle School - and jumped up to join in at the end.
Mr Obama has come under fire for demanding action on climate change while giving the go-ahead for oil exploration in the remote Alaskan waters of the Chukchi Sea.
The White House insisted the President was a "realist" over the demand for oil and gas while aiming to cut fossil fuel consumption.
They released images of the President using a selfie stick during a visit to the retreating Exit Glacier on Tuesday.
Mr Obama's stay in Alaska is the longest he has remained on any visit during his presidency.