Kind regards from us at the Norwegian Glacier Museum & Ulltveit-Moe climate centre.
See you in 2018!
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The Norwegian Glacier Museum offers entertainment and education for the whole family. The Norwegian Glacier Museum is a official visitor centre of the Jostedalsbreen National Park.
News. Here you find the latest news from the Norwegian Glacier Museum.
Kind regards from us at the Norwegian Glacier Museum & Ulltveit-Moe climate centre.
See you in 2018!
Vetle Supphellebreen Glacier is resisting the melting trend by advancing in 2017, while Haugabreen Glacier is retreating.
For glacier-interested people there are always good news when a glacier is advancing. Vetle Supphellebreen Glacier advanced for the third year in a row, this year 2 metres. The glacier retreated the first couple of years we did front position measurements, but in total the glacier has advanced 4 metres since 2011. This means the glacier is more or less stable. A surplus of snow in the measurement period may explain the glacier development. If we take a look at local weather stations we see that precipitation is above average for the period 2011-2017. There is a complex symphony which governs glacier development, but in simple terms it is the relationship between winter snow and summer temperature that determines the glacier balance between years.
The bad news is that Haugabreen Glacier is retreating. The glacier hit a negative personal record by retreating 18 metres this year. Since we started the measurement program, the glacier has a total retreat of 53 metres. We do see an increase in precipitation by looking at data from nearby weather stations, but this is probably not sufficient to resist the melting.
The changes in glacial extension tells us something about changes in climate. Since the presence of glaciers is mainly controlled by winter snow and summer temperatures, a glacier will reflect changes in these climatic parameters. Large amounts of snow and low temperatures during the winter favour glacier growth, while low amounts of snow and/or high summer temperatures causes glacier retreat.
Growth or retreat is a reaction to a positive or negative mass balance. But, due to different reaction time, there may be a delay of several years between a measured positive mass balance and glacier growth. Short and steep outlet glaciers, like Briksdalsbreen or Bøyabreen, reacts relatively fast. Long, large and gentle sloping glaciers, like Tunsbergdalsbreen and Nigardsbreen, has slower reactions to changes in climatic conditions.
Fjaerland Guiding offers tailormade hikes and events on request. Smiling guides gives you fairytale adventures packed with good stories and local knowledge.
In summer season Fjaerland Guiding offers open glacier walks on glaciers close to Fjaerland. Information will be available consecutively at Fjaerland Tourist Information, and hotels and campings nearby during the summer. For special requested glacier walks, please contact Fjaerland Guiding.
Welcome to your next adventure!
Thanks for 2016! Welcome back to Fjærland and the Norwegian Glacier Museum & Ulltveit-Moe Climate Centre in 2017. The season begins on April 1.
Greetings from the glacier team!
The Norwegian Glacier Museum & Ulltveit-Moe climate centre has, since the opening in 1991, naturally, been interested in the glaciers and their development. The trend today is glacier retreat, but one glacier has advanced.
We are responsible for glacier front position measurements on a few nearby glaciers, but results presented as statistics and numbers doesn’t always make sense for everyone. Today, the glacier retreat makes measurements difficult on some glaciers. But we still can capture their behavior by camera, which is a great tool to follow the development. We are especially interested in the two most famous glaciers in Fjærland, which are Bøyabreen and Supphellebreen. Due do difficulties doing measurements on them we had to stop the time series in 2014. Already in 2014 we got reports about “black holes” in the glacier tongue of Bøyabreen. The hole is visible also this year and it is a clear sign that the glacier is thinning.
By comparing photos from 1997, when the glacier had advanced in the late 90’s, with the situation today we can see that the regenerated glacier below the icefall is almost melted away. Exposed bedrock under and around the glacier tongue gets increasingly visible. The changes since the late 90s are big. From 2003 to 2014, when we started the measurement program, the glacier has retreated 160 metres.
When we look at glacier Store Supphellebreen it is also clear that the regenerated part of the glacier is shrinking. We did measurements from 2002 to 2014 and registered 70 metres retreat.
Quite recently we discovered a big boulder that originally was used as a marker to measure the glacier front position back in 1899. It was geologist John Bernhard Rekstad (1852-1934) who first used the boulder as a marker. In 1899 the distance to the glacier was 77 metres, but today it is over 400 metres. This means the glacier has retreated over 300 metres since 1899. In the photo from 1899 it is Mr. Rekstad himself standing beside the boulder, while it is the operations manager at the Glacier Museum, Svein Arne Bøyum, who is appearing in the new photo.
At higher altitudes we also see changes. About 100 years ago, glacier Store Supphellebreen, formed a large terminal moraine. In the years since, the glacier development has been negative. To put it in simple words: it is like the air is going out of the balloon…
Glacier front position measurements
In 2016 we have measured the glacier front positions at Haugabreen in Jølster and Vetle Supphellebreen in Fjærland. The results show that Haugabreen has retreated 15 metres since 2015. We started to measure this glacier in 2013 and the total retreat is 35 metres.
Vetle Supphellebreen advanced 16 metres this year. The overall trend is glacier retreat because of a warming climate. The snow accumulation is usually very large every winter, but apparently not enough to stop the glacier reduction over time. The advance is therefore interesting. We don’t have other data from this glacier, but the automatic weather station next to the Glacier Museum shows precipitation levels above normal in the period 2011-2015. Large amounts of snow may play a part in the explanation on the glacier advance. Other factors that contribute to glacier formation and changes of glaciers are a complex interplay between temperature, latitude, altitude, relief, aspect and maritimity. Since we started to measure the glacier in 2011 it has advanced 2 metres.
In 2016 we've had 72 500 guests in our museum. That's the best numbers in 20 years and the second best in our 25 years history. During the two past seasons the visitor numbers has increased by 37 percent or around 20 000 guests.
According to the museum Director, Mr John Brekke, the increase is especially strong in the Asian market.
We would like to give a big thank you to all our guests this season and to everybody who has been cooperating with us to make 2016 a great year!
See you for a new season on April 1 in 2017!
The Norwegian Glacier Museum is located in the most stunning landscape you'd ever imagine. At least we think so!
If you don't believe us, please check out this masterpiece made by Marcel Dezor.
We hope you like it - enjoy!
This winter we have been working hard to renew the main exhibition. Among the new stuff is a brand new interactive exhibiton about the global warming of our planet.
From April 1st you can experience The Norwegian Glacier Museum in a new way. The opening hours are 10:00 - 16:00 everyday.
We have, actually, allready started the season with groups visiting during Easter.
Just to let you know; there is still snow on the ground outside the museum. But we have parking space available for all guests. So don't worry!
With a renewed exhibtion design, new colours and upgrades we wish you all welcome to visit us. This, alongside the allready spectacular movie about Jostedalsbreen Glacier and the Climate Change Exhibition, you can have an exciting and learnfull stay with us.
Welcome to The Norwegian Glacier Museum in 2016!
PS: this year we celebrate our 25 years anniversary.
Welcome back to us and Fjærland in 2016! The museum is open from April 1st. Next year with a brand new design!
And also, in 2016 the museum celebrates 25 years anniversary.
Director John Brekke
The measurements of annual front position changes has discovered that 2 of 4 glaciers may be difficult to survey properly in the future.
Since 2003 and 1992 the Bøyabreen and Supphellebreen glaciers in Fjærland, respectively, has been part of our glacier length change surveys. We are dependent on measuring directly at blue ice in the glacier fronts, but that has gradually been more difficult to do, due to glacier retreat and deposition of snow from avalanches. The part of the galcier we get data from is actually what looks like a pile of snow, the regenerated glacier, below the ice fall. The measurements are no longer representative for how the glaciers develop, so we got no data on these glaciers in 2015. Consequently, we still take photos every year to at least record the visual changes of the glaciers.
But we still have two glaciers we can survey, the Vetle Supphellebreen Glacier and the Haugabreen Glacier. The former is located far up the Supphelledalen Valley. Here we measure directly on blue ice so there are no questions about this one, which advanced 8 metres in 2015. In total since 2011 it has retreated 14 metres. Since our data series only stretch back to 2011, we can't make conclusions on its behaviour concerning climate change just yet. But we know there exist data series from 1899 to 1944 where the glacier retreated over 400 metres. We also found an old picture which we can use to compare with today's situation. The pictorial evidence is clear; there is less ice today.
The Haugabreen Glacier is not part of the Jostedalsbreen Ice Cap, as the three former mentioned glaciers, but it is connected to a seperate smaller ice cap called the Myklebustbreen Glacier. This glacier is located in Jølster. During the past year we found that Haugabreen Glacier retreated 7 metres. Not a big number, but in total 20 metres since we started the data series in 2013. As with Vetle Supphellebreen Glacier it is difficult to make conclusions regarding climate change, but it fits with the overall long time trend with a warmer climate and shrinking glaciers. Also here we have time series some years back in time, from the period 1933 to 1940. During those years the glacier retreated 237 metres. Additionally, we also hav an old picture which tells us about glacier retreat.
Now we are just entering the winter and the glaciers accumulation season. For the coming years they need large amounts of snow to withstand the increasing temperatures during melt season in the summer.
We still have about half a meter of snow surrounding the museum, but we are soon opening the doors for a new season.
On April 1. we are open every day from 10:00 to 16:00. Click here for prices and opening hours.
Welcome to the Norwegian Glacier Museum in 2015!
The Norwegian Glacier Museum is a proud partner in the Tunsbergdalsbreen Project.
This is an international project with the aim of making young people aware of climate change and the way glaciers react to these changes.
Expedition to Tunsbergdalsbreen, the largets outlet glacier from Jostedalsbreen ice cap in Western Norway, is arranged annually. The project is a cooperation of The Norwegian Glacier Museum and the UK charity organisations Field Studies Council Blencathra Centre and Brathay Exploration Trust.
The Norwegian Glacier Museum has done the annual front position measurements on four glaciers. 2014 turns out to be a bad year.
For many years, we have measured front position changes on glaciers in Fjærland. The first glacier measurement series started on Supphellebreen Glacier in 1992, while we added Bøyabreen Glacier in 2003. These glacier has been retreating over the years, so we started measuring two additional glaciers; Supphellebreen Glacier in 2011 and Haugabreen Glacier (in Jølster) last year.
The results from the measurements show the same melting trend:
Supphellebreen Glacier -18 metres
Bøyabreen Glacier -65 metres
Vetle Supphellebreen Glacier -31 metres
Haugabreen Glacier -13 metres
While the measurements of Vetle Supphellebreen Glacier and Haugabreen Glacier are done directly on active outlet glaciers, the measurements on Supphellebreen Glacier and Bøyabreen Glacier are done on so-called regenerated glaciers. These are glaciers which forms by ice and snow avalanches from the glacier and mountain above. They can change from year to year based on where the avalanches accumulates. In 2014 there is observed low avalanche activity, meaning less ice and snow masses added to the regenerated glaciers. Also, the melting season has been warmer than normal and they are situated at low elevations. Bøyabreen Glacier at 150 m.a.s.l. and Supphellebreen Glacier at 60 m.a.s.l. The result is glacier retreat, especially Bøyabreen Glacier with 65 metres while Supphellebreen Glacier retreated 18 metres.
The fronts of Haugabreen Glacier and Vetle Supphellebreen Glacier are situated at higher elevations than the regenerated glaciers and, hence, should stand the summer season melting better. Haugabreen Glacier (900 m.a.s.l.) retreated 13 metres, while Vetle Supphellebreen Glacier (750 m.a.s.l.) retreated 31 metres. These numbers tell us that the warm summer has been hard on the ice, also at higher elevations. This has been observed several places, for example in the area above where the ice fall starts on Bøyabreen (1200 m.a.s.l), where old blue ice is appearing from melting at 15-1600 m.a.s.l.
These glacier measurements are done on behalf of NVE (Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate).
The summer is almost over, but in the glacier village of Fjærland all the fun continues with the very distinctive Round Bale Festival. Here you will get art and culture mixed with feisty activities, in a place where round bale covered fields meets glaciers, rising mountains and a deep fjord.
The festival is an attraction by it self, with the Round Bale World Cup as the highlight!
For more information, see Rundballefestivalen on Facebook (if you dare to read Norwegian).
Welcome to a new season at the Norwegian Glacier Museum & Ulltveit-Moe Climate Centre.
We are open every day 10:00 - 16:00 from April 1.
Always wanted to get on a glacier? Or maybe a taste of glaciology has left you wanting more? Then this exciting expedition is for you!
Where? The Jostedalsbreen Ice Cap in Southern Norway, which is the largest glacier on the European continent.
The expedition is suitable for ages 16-21 with good level of fitness.
Finally, we can present our new and modern website! It has a responsive design, which mean it works well on all units; computers, tablets or smartphones.
The website also has information in 8 other languages, besides Norwegian, English and Deutsch. Hopefully, we can satisfy a wide range of nationalities.
We thank GASTA in Sogndal for the cooperation in developing the new website!
The field work is part of the Tunsbergdalsbreen Project which is arranged for the 5th consecutive year. The project is a cooperation between the Norwegian Glacier Museum, Field Studies Council and Brathay Exploration Group.
Their time in a stunning glacial landscape can be followed on the blogsite for the Tunsbergdalsbreen Project.
The Norwegian Glacier Museum is measuring the front positions of some glaciers in Fjærland every year to find out if they are advancing or retreating. We have measured the Supphellebreen Glacier since 1992 and the Bøyabreen Glacier since 2003. This year we added The Little Supphellebreen Glacier to our measurement program.
Our measurements show that the Bøyabreen and Little Supphellebreen Glaciers were advancing 26 and 13 metres respectively, while the Supphellebreen Glacier retreated 15 metres this year.
The Little Supphellebreen Glacier (picture above) is an active outlet from the ice cap of Jostedalsbreen. The two other glaciers (pictures below) are regenerated glaciers, which mean they exist with respect to ice and snow avalanches from a glacier above.
From 1th of April our museum is open every day a week, from 10:00 to 16:00. Our director the last 18 years, Mr. Nils Paulsen, is going to retire at this date. His succesor is Mr. John Brekke, who previously was manager of Hotel Mundal in Fjærland.
We are looking forward to see you in our museum in 2012!
Best regards from the staff at the Norwegian Glacier Museum.