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 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
Physician Linking Autism - Vaccines Found Shot Dead.
James Jeffrey Bradstreet was a hero to many parents. He spent a great part of his life trying to fight for those children who sustained injuries from vaccines via the creation of medical procedures. This included his very own son.
Clearly, his ideas and concepts and science were not accepted by all and created a great many heated debates online. On ...
Pedophiles Now Demanding Equality - Wanting Their Equal Rights to Marriage
Using the same tactics used by “gay” rights activists, pedophiles have begun to seek similar status arguing their desire for children is a sexual orientation no different than heterosexual or homosexuals.
Critics of the homosexual lifestyle have long claimed that once it became acceptable to identify homosexuality as simply an “alternative lifestyle” or sexual orientation, logically nothing would be off limits ...
Time: Orthodox Christians Must Now Learn To Live as Exiles in Our Own Country
Rod Dreher is a senior editor and blogger at The American Conservative.
Voting Republican and other failed culture war strategies are not going to save us now.
No, the sky is not falling â€” not yet, anyway â€” but with the Supreme Court ruling constitutionalizing same-sex marriage, the ground under our feet has shifted tectonically.
It is hard to overstate the significance of ...
Obama: Americans need to shift religious views
From RamZPaul: Friday, President Obama gave a speech in which he said Americans need to change their religious views to be accepting of gay marriage.
11 Fake European Towns and Landmarks Made in China
We’ve known the Chinese to imitate almost everything. From luxury bags to whatever the fad is, they have it already freshly made. We’ve also known that Chinese tourists traveling around the world continue to increase due to rising incomes and less restrictive passport regime. Europe is one of the mostly visited continents and more campaigns have been launched in some ...
|More News » |