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Obama paints doomsday scene of climate change in Alaska in campaign to boost global action

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — President Barack Obama is painting a doomsday scenario for the Arctic and beyond if climate change isn't dealt with fast: entire nations submerged underwater, cities abandoned and refugees fleeing in droves as global conflict breaks out.

PHOTO: President Barack Obama speaks at the Global Leadership in the Arctic: Cooperation, Innovation, Engagement and Resilience (GLACIER) Conference at Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage, Alaska, Monday, Aug. 31, 2015. Obama opened a historic three-day trip to Alaska aimed at showing solidarity with a state often overlooked by Washington, while using its changing landscape as an urgent call to action on climate change. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Barack Obama speaks at the Global Leadership in the Arctic: Cooperation, Innovation, Engagement and Resilience (GLACIER) Conference at Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage, Alaska, Monday, Aug. 31, 2015. Obama opened a historic three-day trip to Alaska aimed at showing solidarity with a state often overlooked by Washington, while using its changing landscape as an urgent call to action on climate change. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

It's a harrowing image of a future that Obama insists is inevitable, unless the world follows his lead by making sweeping cuts to greenhouse gases.

Lest his sense of urgency get lost, Obama will drive the message home on Tuesday by hiking a melting glacier in Alaska. Obama is counting on Alaska's exquisite but deteriorating landscape to elicit a sense of urgency that his previous calls to action on climate change have not.

Obama opened his three-day trip Monday with a speech calling global warming an escalating crisis already disturbing Alaskans' way of life.

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Video:
PHOTO: President Barack Obama says submerged countries, abandoned cities and floods of refugees await the world unless it takes urgent action on climate change. (Aug. 31)
President Barack Obama says submerged countries, abandoned cities and floods of refugees await the world unless it takes urgent action on climate change. (Aug. 31) PHOTO: President Barack Obama arrived in Alaska Monday to opening historic trip that will make him the first sitting president to visit the Alaska Arctic. (Aug. 31)
President Barack Obama arrived in Alaska Monday to opening historic trip that will make him the first sitting president to visit the Alaska Arctic. (Aug. 31) PHOTO: President Obama held a roundtable meeting with tribal leaders during his visit to Alaska on Monday. The President discussed issues including access to health care, disaster relief and the change of Mount McKinley's name to Mount Denali. (Sept. 1)
President Obama held a roundtable meeting with tribal leaders during his visit to Alaska on Monday. The President discussed issues including access to health care, disaster relief and the change of Mount McKinley's name to Mount Denali. (Sept. 1)
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