Scientists observing Hurricane Sandy, a late October storm that hit the U.S. East Coast, said the intensity of the storm was in part a result of warming trends in the region.
Obama, in a news conference Wednesday, took note of the "extraordinarily large number of severe weather events" in recent years.
"I am a firm believer that climate change is real, that it is impacted by human behavior and carbon emissions," he said. "And as a consequence, I think we've got an obligation to future generations to do something about it."
Obama in his first term embraced an "all-of-the-above" energy policy that included expanded access of reserves in the Gulf of Mexico and better fuel economy standards for new vehicles.
For his second term, the president said he would meet with scientists, engineers and policymakers on the best way to tackle immediate climate concerns.
"We can shape an agenda that says we can create jobs, advance growth and make a serious dent in climate change and be an international leader," he said.