Here’s How Dramatically the Kenai Peninsula Has Changed in the Past 50 Years
Larger than West Virginia, the Kenai Peninsula has the best of Alaska: coastal rainforests, two icefields, majestic deepwater fiords and a sapphire river home to the largest king salmon ever caught. It also has some of the best-documented changes of any geographic feature in Alaska, enough that a biologist now sees the peninsula evolving into a human-driven system.
John Morton of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge recently gave examples of ecological transformations on the Kenai Peninsula. He cited studies by many others in a presentation he gave from his office in Soldotna. Here are some examples:
The Kenai has become a much warmer and dryer place in the last 50 years. There has been a 60 percent loss of available water on the peninsula since 1968.
Glaciers on Harding Icefield have shrunk the height of a five-story building in the last 50 years.