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120 Fv152
Sogn og Fjordane, 6848

+47 57 69 32 88

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.

Filtering by Tag: Norwegian Glacier Museum

Report from glacier measurements

Pål Gran Kielland

Vetle Supphellebreen Glacier is resisting the melting trend by advancing in 2017, while Haugabreen Glacier is retreating.

By the front of Vetle Supphellebreen Glacier in the start of November 2017. Photo: Pål Gran Kielland.

By the front of Vetle Supphellebreen Glacier in the start of November 2017. Photo: Pål Gran Kielland.

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.

Haugabreen Glacier after a snow fall in November 2017. Photo: Pål Gran Kielland.

Haugabreen Glacier after a snow fall in November 2017. Photo: Pål Gran Kielland.

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.

The best season in 20 years

Pål Gran Kielland

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.

Photo from the celebration of our 25 years anniversary where His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon of Norway payed us a visit.

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!

Season opening with new design the 1st of April

Pål Gran Kielland

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.

A sneak peak of the new design...

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.

Data series from glacier measurements under threat

Pål Gran Kielland

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.

Bøyabreen in October 2015. Photo: Pål Gran Kielland.

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.

Vetle Supphellebreen Glacier in 1884 (photo: Steensrup, K.J.D.) and in 2015 (photo: Pål Gran Kielland).

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.

Haugabreen Glacier in the 1930s (photo: NGU) and in 2012 (photo: Pål Gran Kielland).

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.