Doomsday Seed Vault Stores 500,000 Crops
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)
The Vault is dug into the Platĺberget 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
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
60 Years of Research Links Gluten Grains to Schizophrenia
Does the consumption of gluten-containing grains contribute to psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia?
Believe it or not, this question has been asked for well over 60 years by researchers who stumbled upon evidence that the removal of gluten from the diet results in improved symptoms, or conversely, that gluten grain consumption leads to higher prevalence of both neurological and psychiatric problems.
A Sour Deception: Citric Acid Comes From GMO Black Mold, Not Fruit
Just what is your food made of, anyway? Try industrial synthesis, genetically modified mold secretions, hydrochloric acid, mercury-contaminated caustic soda, ferrocyanideâ€¦ and, of course, lots of GMO corn.
If common ingredients like â€ścitric acidâ€ť and â€śascorbic acid (Vitamin C)â€ť sound normal and familiar enough that you practically conjure up an image of the flourishing orchard they were grown in â€“ then ...
Thousands of migrants dumped on Britain as French wriggle out of border promise
Thousands of migrants could be dumped on Britainâ€™s doorstep if France tears up a historic border agreement, it was claimed last night.
Officials have vowed to do â€śeverything in their powerâ€ť to wriggle out of a treaty moving the UK border to Calais.
The besieged townâ€™s mayor Natacha Bouchart is prepared to spark a major diplomatic row by opening the frontier ...
Richard III laid to rest at Leicester Cathedral
King Richard III was today laid to rest at Leicester Cathedral - more than 500 years after his death in battle.
The monarch, who reigned from 1483 to 1485, was the last of the Plantagenet dynasty.
Actor Benedict Cumberbatch read a poem by Carol Ann Duffy during the service. Also in attendance was Robert Lindsay, who played Richard III in a version ...
Sweden - A new paradise for Romani beggars
Thanks to the European Union and freedom of movement that follows with membership Sweden has been flooded with gypsies from Eastern Europe.
Most member states have cracked down hard on the phenomenon of organized begging with legislation and forceful evictions so the Romani (colloquially known as Gypsies) who are engaged in this venture have moved their business to the country where ...
|More News » |