Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Farmers Rush to Deposit Seeds in Arctic Doomsday Vault, Patrolled by Bears

Snow blows off the Svalbard Global Seed Vault at sunrise, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2008.Farmers from Australia are the latest donors to a polar bear-patrolled Arctic doomsday vault that stores seeds as insurance against an international food emergency.

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a converted mine, is located about 800 miles from the North Pole in Arctic Norway.

An Australian delegation of farmers and scientists next week will deposit 301 samples of peas and 42 rare chickpeas in the vault, intending to protect the plant species from extinction by climatic or man-made events.

"It's a very robust structure, concrete, made into the side of a mountain at Svalbard in the Spitsbergen Highlands in the Arctic," said Dr. Tony Gregson, a farmer and scientist with Plant Health Australia, an agriculture industry body.

According to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault website, the facility's main purpose is "to store duplicates ('back ups') of all seed samples from the world's crop collections. Permafrost and thick rock ensure that, even in the case of a power outage, the seed samples will remain frozen."

"It's as safe as any place on earth, actually," Gregson said. "It's built deliberately 60 meters above current sea level, which is above any predicted sea level rise, built into solid rock. ...

via Farmers Rush to Deposit Seeds in Arctic Doomsday Vault, Patrolled by Bears.


Neophos said...

Humm, i initially thought back then that this facility is a little bit scary. I mean, why should it be built, when it isn´t needed?

Cheng said...

I thought the headline was scarier. Farmers rush to arctic to deposit their seed :)

patricia said...

i think this vault is hysterical if there was a doomsday scenerio would the survivors be able to find the vault or in the middle of artic Norway, break into this polar monstrousity!!!!!!

Xeno said...

It deploys airborne robots to pick up survivors and bring them inside. Then it helps them find land and teaches them to farm.