Exit Glacier is Exiting | Alaska

My recent travels to Alaska last June of 2016 I had the opportunity to visit Exit Glacier located in Kenai Fjords National Park. It was absolutely phenomenal offering the perfect combination of epic beauty, easy accessibility and world-renowned vistas. I couldn’t help but realize how much this beautiful glacier has receded in the recent years.600_6882

Within the last 100 years Exit Glacier has retreated about a mile according to park scientists. Last year, according to end-of-summer measurements, it lost about 136 feet.

This summer the retreat of Exit Glacier has yet to be quantified but it is clearly dramatic.

Due to the accelerated melt, the access route used by visitors to get to the glacier is now subject to frequent floods. In the past, flooding occurred occasionally and was usually associated with fall rains that swelled the Resurrection River, but with glacial melt adding to the water load, flooding is now a near-annual occurrence, officials say. The road sometimes floods in the summer, disrupting access to the popular drive-up glacier during peak visitor season.

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President Obama visited Exit Glacier Sept. 1, 2015

A year ago, September 1, 2015 President Obama stood at
the toe of retreating
Exit Glacier and proclaimed it a beautiful but vulnerable sight, an obvious “signpost” of climate change. 

When I arrived in June 2016 Exit Glacier was even farther away from the spot where the president stood.

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It’s truly scary to think that eventually this beautiful glacier will be something of the past and the beauty of Alaska melted away. What can we do to stop this from happening? I fear that it may already be too late to prevent the devastation that we will seeing in our near future. What are your thoughts?

 

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