The objective of the JOSTICE project is to assess the present and future changes in mass balance, runoff, ice volume and local climate of Jostedalsbreen, and determine the societal impact of these changes on hydropower production, tourism and agriculture.
The present state of Jostedalsbreen will be determined by fieldwork using radar measurements to estimate snow and ice thicknesses, while the areal extent and surface elevation of Jostedalsbreen are determined from satellite images, drone measurements and field observations. This new data will allow us to create a map of the land topography below Jostedalsbreen. The data will be used in glacier models that show how the ice margin, ice volume and ice movement of Jostedalsbreen will change in the future depending on various climate scenarios. The models will also show how the runoff in glacial rivers may change in the future. Changes in glacier geometry and glacier surface characteristics are closely connected to the local climate. JOSTICE will use the generated knowledge of glacier changes to model how these may affect changes in local and regional temperature and precipitation patterns.
Future changes of Jostedalsbreen and associated influences on weather will undoubtedly impact regional communities and industry sectors such as hydropower production, tourism and farming. JOSTICE uses this new understanding of future changes together with a bottom-up approach with strong stakeholder involvement to identify perceived consequences of environmental changes. The results will provide the scientific basis for a thorough analysis of sustainable adaption strategies for hydropower production, the agricultural sector and the tourism industry.
Jostedalsbreen is visited by several hundreds of thousands of guests every year. JOSTICE will generate a high-impact public outreach. During the project, an interactive exhibition display prototype will be developed for communicating the results of JOSTICE on the present and future of Jostedalsbreen. This will benefit a large number of people for the coming decades.
Jostedalsbreen is the largest glacier in mainland Europe. It has a prominent influence on the regional society and economy. Research on Jostedalsbreen has a long history and goes back more than a hundred years.
The Norwegian Water Resouces and Energy Directorate (NVE) has monitored the climatic, glaciological and hydrological changes of parts of Jostedalsbreen for decades. University of Bergen (UiB) has long-time experience on studying the Quaternary history of Jostedalsbreen and the landscape surrounding the ice cap. University of Oslo (UiO) has modelled glacier dynamics of the outlet glacier Nigardsbreen, while Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL) has measured snow and ice thicknesses of parts of Jostedalsbreen. Western Norway Research Institute (Vestlandsforskning) has expertise in how climate changes affect the regional society. JOSTICE combines this national research expertise with local knowledge and international collaboration to provide an open arena for generating a better understanding of current and future changes of Jostedalsbreen and how the regional society may adapt to these changes.
For more general information about Jostedalsbreen, please visit the Visitor Centre Jostedalsbreen National Park, Norwegian Glacier Museum & Ulltveit-Moe Climate Centre, Breheimsenteret and Vitemeir.