Historical background

Between 1954 and 1964, the University of Cambridge carried out an extensive research program on Jostedalsbreen, all together 13 expeditions with a total of 184 participants. One of the participants was John Price, today a retired civil engineer, who in 1959 joined the expedition as a 20-year-old student of Nottingham University. The expeditions aim was to map the movements of Tunsbergdalsbreen, the largest outlet of Jostedalsbreen. Until 1972, the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) did annually front position measurements at Tunsbergdalsbreen. The data from these research works can give us an idea of what Tunsbergdalsbreen looked like at that time.

Photo: John Price 1959 (second row, second from left).

Today, John Price is very concerned about climate change and about getting young people interested in this topic. Since glaciers react on changes in climate, they can be used as indicators to make these changes visible. John Price contacted the Norwegian Glacier Museum and proposed to continue the monitoring of the glacier done 50 years ago. The idea of Tunsbergalsbreen Project was born: to monitor the glacier on an annual basis in order to map its reactions on the changes in climate we experience today, and to try to relate this new data to the measurements carried out in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

Below you can learn more about the expedition in 1959. View the slide-show (English only), as displayed in a photo exhibition in the Norwegian Glacier Museum.