Norway to Build Doomsday Seed Vault


Having just re-watched Dr. Strangelove, this can’t help but strike me as even more chilling than it otherwise would have. On the icy island of Spitsbergen, 600 miles from the North Pole, the Norwegian government will soon begin building a subterranean vault to hold samples of the world’s crop seeds, some 2 million of them. The collection of seeds is intended as a gene bank able to survive a global catastrophe, allowing agriculture to rebuild after an event such as nuclear war, massive climate change, a meteor strike, or other Day-After-Tomorrow-ish scenarios.The unmanned vault, drilled into a mountainside, will have meter-thick walls, airlocks, and high security blast-proof doors. Permafrost will keep temperatures in the vault sub- zero (and is expected to stay that way for several decades even under conditions of rapid climate change). The Global Crop Diversity Trust will be responsible for gathering the seeds from some 1,400 seed banks scattered around the world, assembling a collection representing all known existing crop species and thousands of years of agriculture. :: BBC News and The New Scientist