Doomsday Seed Vault Stores 500,000 Crops
2010 03 12
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 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
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
Why is the State so obsessed by, and careless with, deadly pathogens?
2014 07 31
Earlier this month, we ran a report on the CDC anthrax blunder. As if that weren’t bad enough, there have been additional exposures since we posted that report. This time, it involved the shipment of live, highly contagious, and deadly H5N1 avian influenza samples.
As previously reported, as many as 841 scientists and staff members at a US Centers for Disease ...
‘Catastrophic’: Hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer warns of EMP
2014 07 31
Imminent: ‘Only a matter of time’ until entire electric grid destroyed by natural or man-made event…
Billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer is warning investors – and more broadly, lawmakers and leaders – about the potential destructive power of an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, which could be triggered by solar events or artificially, via blasts in the atmosphere.
According to Singer, research ...
CIA Spies and Lies: CIA spied on senate investigators examining agency torture
2014 07 31
CIA confirms CIA spied on senate investigators examining CIA torture programs
In March 2014, McClatchy newspaper published a bombshell story revealing that the CIA spied on Senate Select Intelligence Committee investigators looking into CIA torture. During negotiations about the preparation of the committee’s long-awaited report on CIA torture programs, the spy agency had told investigators they could only view CIA documents ...
A Look at Theories About Elongated Skulls in Ancient Peru, Europe, Egypt
2014 07 31
Elongated skulls have been found in ancient burial grounds around the world. Many are the result of a practice of intentionally deforming the skull with binding applied during the early years of a child’s life. Some may be explained by natural deformity. Yet enough mystery is left in relation to some of the skulls for various theories to arise.
Could the ...
Australia, ‘better slave than dead’
2014 07 30
Remember the name “Pine Gap.” It lies at the heart of this story.
I’ve always thought Australians were more blunt and forthright than Americans. I don’t know if that’s true, but the current debate about total surveillance in the Land Down Under is cutting to the bone.
The government wants to tax the Australian people so it can use giant telecoms to ...
|More News » |