Doomsday Seed Vault Stores 500,000 Crops
2010-03-12 0:00

By Jeanna Bryner | LiveScience.com


A mold-resistant bean, a German pink tomato and a wild strawberry plucked from the flanks of a Russian volcano are just some of the crops whose seeds are being tucked away this week in a giant vault dug out of a mountainside of the Norwegian island Svalbard.

With these new deposits, the so-called Svalbard "Doomsday" Global Seed Vault will reach its half-million mark of seed varieties. The giant icebox of sorts, which was officially opened on Feb. 26, 2008, is meant to protect the world’s crop diversity from natural or manmade disasters.

"Reaching the half million mark brings mixed emotions, because while it shows that the vault at Svalbard is now the gold standard for diversity, it comes at a time when our agriculture systems are really sitting on a knife’s edge," said Cary Fowler, executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, which partners with the Norwegian government and the Nordic Genetic Resource Center in Sweden in operating the vault.

Fowler added, "If crops and agriculture don’t adapt to climate change, neither will humanity."


A guard armed with a rifle stands guard Sunday, Feb. 24, 2008 in Longyearbyen, Norway, outside the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, designed as a safety net for the world’s crop diversity. The vault, which has been described as Noah’s Seed Ark and a Doomsday Vault, was dug into a mountainside in Norway’s arctic Svalbard islands. It will hold 4.5 million different agricultural seed samples from around the world. (AP Photo/John McConnico)


Giant icebox

The Vault is dug into the Platåberget mountain, which means "plateau mountain," and is located near the village of Longyearbyen, Svalbard – a group of islands north of mainland Norway. The arctic permafrost offers natural freezing for the seeds, while additional cooling brings the temperatures down to minus 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 18 degrees Celsius).

And if the mountain of snow enshrouding the storage rooms isn’t enough protection, what better body guard than one of nature’s biggest beasts.

"The region on Svalbard surrounding the Seed Vault is remote, severe, and inhabited by polar bears," according to the Global Crop Diversity Trust, which helps to support the vault’s operations.

The preciousness of such seeds is reflected in the inaccessible nature of the vault. "Anyone seeking access to the seeds themselves will have to pass through four locked doors: the heavy steel entrance doors, a second door approximately 115 meters down the tunnel and finally the two keyed air-locked doors," the Trust writes. "Keys are coded to allow access to different levels of the facility. Not all keys unlock all doors."

Seeds: not just for a rainy day

Like all seeds coming to the vault, the new ones are duplicates of those from other collections. Material directly acquired by plant breeders to develop disease-resistant and "climate-ready" crops, and to meet the challenge of rapidly growing populations, is maintained by genebanks, not the seed vault.

"Svalbard is a fail-safe backup to be used whenever a depositing seed bank loses part or all of its collection, but we should focus equally on averting the disasters in the first place," Fowler said.

Other seeds shipped to the doomsday vault include: semi-dwarf wheat and rice from the early 1960s; disease-resistant soybeans; and the German pink tomato, a hardy sweet-flavored tomato transported to Iowa in 1883 by a Bavarian immigrant.

"We’re seeing in several of the soybean varieties intriguing traits that could allow farmers to confront such problems as drought or extreme heat, shorter or longer growing seasons, or higher levels of CO2 [carbon dioxide]," said Dave Ellis, curator at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation.

Article from: LiveScience.com





Video from: YouTube.com



Also tune into:

Chemtrails, Nanotechnology & The Artificial Environment

Edmund Marriage - Origins of Farming, Genetic Interference, Climate & Cyclical Catastrophe

Catherine Austine Fitts - Swine Flu, Vaccination & The Economy

John Lash - Origin of Religion, Entheogens, Wasson & Black Magic Pharmacology

Neil Kramer - Paradox, Sorcery & Fear

Freeman - Trip to Maya Country Continued & Kanal 5 Appearance



Related Articles
The Seed Monopolies: The warning signs were there
EU Farmers Face Genetic Contamination of Seeds
Why Does Monsanto Sue Farmers Who Save Seeds? (What a Joke!)
Monsanto Planting Seeds in the White House?
Ancient Seeds: The Key to Feeding the World
"Doomsday Seed Vault" in the Arctic
Toxic Monsanto seeds - Farmers committing Suicide (Video)
’Zombie crops’ funded by British taxpayers to ’get round’ GM ban


Latest News from our Front Page

The Jewish Roots of Leonard Nimoy and What the ‘Live Long and Prosper’ Hand Symbol Really Means
2015-02-28 0:20
Leonard Nimoy first saw what became the famous Vulcan salute, “live long and prosper,” as a child, long before “Star Trek” even existed. The placement of the hands comes from a childhood memory, of an Orthodox Jewish synagogue service in Boston. The man who would play Spock saw the gesture as part of a blessing, and it never left him. “Something ...
Baby born still INSIDE his amniotic sac is hailed a ‘medical miracle’ by doctors [Video]
2015-02-27 22:46
What an incredible miracle… Not only was the little boy three months early – he was born inside his amniotic sac. I’ve never heard of this happening before. If you look at the picture, you can see him clearly with his little arms and legs curled up. He was still being given oxygen by his mom until the sac was ...
California Infant Dies after 8 Vaccines, Family Gets Him Back from Hospital Cremated
2015-02-27 21:55
Parents in California are distraught after losing their infant son after being vaccinated. He died in his sleep and was taken to the hospital already deceased. Hospital staff ruled his death as sudden infant death syndrome. The couple was told an autopsy was required to be performed on their son. After returning home, waiting to get an update, they never received ...
DNA: Data-storage for eternity
2015-02-27 20:57
How can we preserve our knowledge today for the next millennia? ETH researchers have found a way to store information in the form of DNA, preserving it for nearly an eternity. Scrolls thousands of years old provide us with a glimpse into long-forgotten cultures and the knowledge of our ancestors. In this digital era, in contrast, a large part of our ...
Hypercleanliness is making us sick - Children develop allergies and eczema
2015-02-27 20:31
Could using a dishwashing machine increase the chances your child will develop allergies? That's what some provocative new research suggests — but don't tear out your machine just yet. The study involved 1,029 Swedish children (ages 7 or 8) and found that those whose parents said they mostly wash the family's dishes by hand were significantly less likely to develop eczema, ...
More News »