ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Global warming is carving measurable changes into Alaska, and President Barack Obama is about to see it.
Obama leaves Monday for a three-day visit to the 49th state in which he will speak at a State Department climate change conference and become the first president to visit the Alaska Arctic. There, and in the sub-Arctic part of the state, he will see the damage caused by warming .
Studies show that more than 3.5 trillion tons of water have melted off of Alaska's glaciers since 1959, when Alaska first became a state.
In the first 10 years of statehood, Alaska averaged barely a quarter million acres of wildfires yearly. The last 10 years have averaged 1.2 million acres.