Doomsday Seed Vault, Part 2


About a year ago Treehugger reported on the Norwegian government's plans to build a subterranean vault to hold samples of the world's seeds. When completed next year, it will hold 3 million seeds that are being preserved to continue the world's agricultural diversity. Detailed plans have now been released and it is chilling... The vault will be built 120 metres into the side of a frozen mountain on the remote Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, near the North Pole. The location was chosen because it is always between - 4 and -6 degrees, but there will be cooling units to drop the temperature to -18 degrees C so if the units fail, the seeds won't germinate. Designers have also planned for rising sea levels—the entrance is 130 metres above sea level, so even if the Greenland ice sheet collapses, there is no threat. Not even if there is a total meltdown of Antarctica (what!--this is scary stuff). The vault's entrance gets even more James Bond-like--it is a striking triangular shape with reflective panels to catch the summer midnight sun. "In winter it will emit a quiet glow so that you can sense it in the landscape" said the project manager. In addition, the concrete-lined tunnel to the pair of vaults at the core will have a series of reinforced doors . There will be no windows and it will be under constant video surveillance. :: BBC News

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