US President Barack Obama met with Bear Grylls during his Alaska trip to shoot a special edition of NBC's Running Wild with Bear Grylls on 1 September. Obama sent out a selfie with the British survivalist from the White House Instagram account. The photo was taken near the Exit Glacier in Seward, Alaska where Obama is highlighting the impact of climate change.
Before meeting Gryllis, Obama walked down a winding wooded path toward the glacier, past small brown post markers that highlight where the edge of the Exit Glacier occurred in years past. Obama stopped at 1951 a marker for the edge that year, and gazed up toward where the rock-rutted ice mass has since receded, a quarter mile away.
"This is as good a signpost of what we're dealing with on climate change as just about anything," Obama told reporters near the base of the glacier.
Last year alone, the Exit Glacier melted and retreated 187ft toward the Harding ice field, which itself has lost 10 percent of its mass since 1950, mainly due to climate change.
Following the taping of Running Wild with Bear Grylls, set to air later this year, Obama took a three-hour boat tour around Resurrection Bay to see the 12-mile-long Bear Glacier in the Kenai Fjords National Park, the longest of 38 glaciers moving from the Harding ice field.
Bear Glacier has receded more than two miles during the last 15 years, with large chunks dropping into a lake at its base.