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Arctic chills, messy energy politics await Obama on his historic trip to Alaska

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WASHINGTON — Shrinking glaciers, Arctic temperatures and a mix of messy energy politics await President Barack Obama as he begins his historic trip to Alaska.

Obama departs on Monday morning for a three-day tour aimed at calling attention to the ways Obama says climate change is already damaging Alaska's stunning scenery.

PHOTO: FILE - This Aug. 19, 2011 file photo shows Mount McKinley in Denali National Park, Alaska. President Barack Obama on Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015 said he's changing the name of the tallest mountain in North America from Mount McKinley to Denali. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, File)
FILE - This Aug. 19, 2011 file photo shows Mount McKinley in Denali National Park, Alaska. President Barack Obama on Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015 said he's changing the name of the tallest mountain in North America from Mount McKinley to Denali. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, File)

By showcasing problems with thawing permafrost, melting sea ice and eroding shorelines, Obama hopes to generate urgency to deal quickly with climate change in the U.S. and overseas.

Obama will also become the first sitting president to step foot in the Alaska Arctic when he visits the town of Kotzebue.

In a show of solidarity with Alaska Natives, Obama announced Sunday that his administration is changing the name of North America's tallest peak, Mount McKinley, to Denali, its traditional Athabascan name.

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