"Make no mistake, climate change is no longer just a threat, it's already a reality…Here in Yosemite, meadows are drying up, bird ranges are shifting farther northward, Alpine mammals like pikas are being forced further up slope. Yosemite's longest glacier, at once a mile wide, is now almost gone," Obama said on Saturday, as quoted by the People magazine, during his vacation to the Californian natural reserve.
The president also warned about the possibility of melting glaciers at the Glacier National Park in Montana, as well as the disappearance of Joshua Trees at Joshua Tree National Park in California.
The United States needs to stick to its commitments in monitoring emission levels and creating clean energy sources, he stressed.
The Yosemite National Park spans a territory of over 1,000 square miles, most of which is occupied by wildlife. The park became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.
In 2015, the international community signed the Paris deal aiming to limit global average temperatures to less than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels by reducing emissions. The agreement will be open for signature until April 21, 2017. It will enter into force when ratified by at least 55 of the 196 signatory states, accounting for at least 55 percent of global emissions.
The United States, which is responsible for almost 18 percent of emissions as per the terms of the deal, signed the agreement but has yet to ratify it.