Thursday, March 6, 2014

Biodiversity 'Doomsday' Vault

The Svaldbard Global Seed Vault, or 'Doomsday Vault', located in Norway, houses thousands of crops from around the world.  The vault opened in 2008, and now houses the seeds of more than 820,000 global crops.  The intended purpose is to hold seeds that could be re-grown in the event of a catastrophe.

It is designed to store up to 4.5 million seeds samples,with each sample containing 500 seeds, bringing the total storage capacity to 2.25 billion seeds!  The seeds being stored consist of:

-a variety of wheat, known as Norin-10, which is the source of genes that give wheat plants stronger stems capable of supporting more grain.

-grains from Tajikistan's Pamir Mountains, including wheat that grows both in hot summers and harsh winter conditions, and across a wide range of elevations

-Amaranth seeds that once provided grain to the Aztecs and Incas

-and many, many more!

The vault is dug into the Plataberget mountain, located near the village of Longyearben, Svalbard, in between Norway and the North Pole.  The permafrost offers natural freezing for the seeds, with the seeds being stored behind four air-tight doors.  It is said to be capable of withstanding nuclear war, an asteroid strike, earthquakes, and other disasters.

It only cost roughly $9 million to construct, and was entirely founded by the Norwegian government.  Storing seeds is free for the end-user, and the vault is funded by several Trusts and governments worldwide.

No comments:

Post a Comment