'Doomsday' vault design unveiled
2007 02 10
By Mark Kinver | news.bbc.co.uk
The final design for a "doomsday" vault that will house seeds from all known varieties of food crops has been unveiled by the Norwegian government.
The Svalbard International Seed Vault will be built into a mountainside on a remote island near the North Pole.
The vault aims to safeguard the world's agriculture from future catastrophes, such as nuclear war, asteroid strikes and climate change.
Construction begins in March, and the seed bank is scheduled to open in 2008.
The Norwegian government is paying the $5m (£2.5m) construction costs of the vault, which will have enough space to house three million seed samples.
The collection and maintenance of the collection is being organised by the Global Crop Diversity Trust, which has responsibility of ensuring the "conservation of crop diversity in perpetuity".
"We want a safety net because we do not want to take too many chances with crop biodiversity," said Cary Fowler, the Trust's executive director.
"Can you imagine an effective, efficient, sustainable response to climate change, water shortages, food security issues without what is going to go in the vault - it is the raw material of agriculture."
The seed vault will be built 120m (364ft) inside a mountain on Spitsbergen, one of four islands that make up Svalbard.
Dr Fowler said Svalbard, 1,000km (621 miles) north of mainland Norway, was chosen as the location for the vault because it was very remote and it also offered the level of stability required for the long-term project.
"We looked very far into the future. We looked at radiation levels inside the mountain, and we looked at the area's geological structure," he told BBC News.
"We also modelled climate change in a drastic form 200 years into future, which included the melting of ice sheets at the North and South Poles, and Greenland, to make sure that this site was above the resulting water level."
By building the vault deep inside the mountain, the surrounding permafrost would continue to provide natural refrigeration if the mechanical system failed, explained Dr Fowler.
'Living Fort Knox'
The Arctic vault will act as a back-up store for a global network of seed banks financially supported by the trust.
Dr Fowler said that a proportion of the seeds housed at these banks would be deposited at Svalbard, which will act as a "living Fort Knox".
Although the vault was designed to protect the specimens from catastrophic events, he added that it could also be used to replenish national seed banks.
"One example happened in September when a typhoon ripped through the Philippines and destroyed its seed bank," Dr Fowler recalled.
"The storm brought two feet of water and mud into the bank, and that is the last thing you want in a seed bank."
Once inside the vault, the samples will be stored at -18C (0F). The length of time that seeds kept in a frozen state maintain their ability to germinate depends on the species.
Some crops, such as peas, may only survive for 20-30 years. Others, such as sunflowers and grain crops, are understood to last for many decades or even hundreds of years.
|The Arctic conditions will help keep the seeds in a frozen state|
Once the collection has been established at Svalbard, Dr Fowler said the facility would operate with very little human intervention.
"Somebody will go up there once every year to physically check inside to see that everything is OK, but there will be no full-time staff," he explained.
"If you design a facility to be used in worst-case scenarios, then you cannot actually have too much dependency on human beings."
Article from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6335899.stm
'Doomsday vault' to house world's seeds
Monsanto Buys ‘Terminator’ Seeds Company
GM food must be allowed into Europe, WTO rules
Seeds of Deception
Latest News from our Front Page
"Policy of multiculturalism in Europe has failed"
2013 05 22
The UK is experiencing a deficit of Caucasian people in the regions where the majority of the population is made up of immigrants and ethnic minorities. In the last 10 years more than 620 thousand white Brits left the capital of the UK, where Caucasians are now a minority making up only 45% of London’s population.
The policy of multiculturalism in ...
Stockholm braced for further rioting by young immigrants
2013 05 21
Main article from FT.com follows below this comment:
Well, all of this is hardly unexpected, since there now is pretty much annual riots in Sweden. Disgruntled immigrants who are burning cars, schools and other buildings is now turning into the norm in Sweden ...as it seems to be throughout the rest of Europe. Stones are flying and you can smell the ...
Dzhokhar’s boat ‘confession’ the most unbelievable part yet of Boston psyop
2013 05 21
Remember the notes that accompanied the anthrax deliveries right after 9/11? They said things like, “Allah is great!” “Death to Israel,” “Death to America!” and “9-11-01: This is next.”
In other words, THE MUSLIMS DID IT: the same ones who had so handily defeated the world’s greatest military machine on Sept. 11, 2001. And they did it because they hate us ...
The Mystery of the ’Immaculately Conceived’ Baby Anteater
2013 05 21
[...]Staffers at a zoological conservation center in Greenwich, Conn., are very confused — as are the rest of us — because their female giant anteater, Armani, has managed to conceive a baby, apparently without the presence of a male anteater.
It all started in August, writes Lisa Chamoff for Greenwich Time. Armani, an anteater at the LEO Zoological Conservation Center, ...
The US Government Might Be the Biggest Hacker in the World
2013 05 21
Cyber crime is big business in the US. It’s used to spy, steal, harass competition, political opponents, or to stage an attack and blamed it on a foreign enemy.
Is the government in on this crime industry? Yes, and in bigger ways than you can imagine…
This trend is enabled domestically by an institutionally corrupt US legal system and a police state ...
|More News » |