The Norwegian Glacier Museum & Ulltveit-Moe Climate Centre are measuring the front position of two glaciers in Jostedalsbreen National Park. The data shows recession in 2018.
Front position measurements
The Vetle Supphellebreen glacier in Fjærland had been advancing the three previous years, but in 2018 it receded 6 metres. We re-started the measurements in 2011, and the glacier have been relatively stable. The glacier was also monitored in the period 1899-1944 and receded in total about 450 metres.
We also monitor the front position of Haugabreen Glacier in Jølster. The data shows a recession of 16 metres in 2018, and the glacier have been shrinking 69 metres since we started the measurements in 2013. During the past couple of years glacier streams are becoming visible in the glacier foreland, which mean it can be difficult to access the glacier for guided hikes, without getting wet, in the future.
Other more well known glaciers, like Bøyabreen and Supphellebreen, are also beeing recorded for the future by taking photos. The glacier recession over the years have been causing problems for executing the front position measurements, but photography makes it possible to still document the glacier development.
More information about glacier measurements is available on the website of The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate. Here, you can read about the heavy glacier melting in 2018 and how glaciers like Engabreen and Nigardsbreen receded 140 and 81 metres respectively.
Glaciers and climate
The hot summer this year took its toll on the snow and ice on the Jostedalsbreen Ice Cap. Since the advance of the late 90’s, the outlet glaciers have been receding the past 20 years. This is all part of the ongoing long term trend of receding glaciers in a warming climate. According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), 2018 is heading to be on of the warmest years to have been registered since the temperature measurements started in the middle of the 1800s. The glaciers are an important source of water on Earth, as 70% of the fresh water is stored as glacial ice. They contribute to a stable water supply and they are one of our best climate archives.