I don’t plan to be around 10,000 years in the future, but what would I do if I woke up in the year 12,008 and wanted something to eat? It would probably be a good idea to go to Norway.
Why? A new facility has just opened on a remote Svalbard island which aims to collect millions of seeds, preserving the genetic diversity of our crops in case humanity has a disaster like nuclear war or extreme global warming. Even if there was a major earthquake nearby or a direct hit by a nuclear missile, the new storage facility has been built so strongly that it would be able to withstand the destruction. (Click here for images of the doomsday vault)
Within a few years, the target is to have a few hundred samples of each of 4.5 million different varieties of crops, coming to a grand total of 2 billion individual seeds. So far only 100 million seeds have been added, but even they weighed a massive 10 tons, meaning that when the facility is full it will contain hundreds of tons of seeds.
As if it wasn’t cold enough in Svalbard already – it never goes above freezing point – special air conditioning systems have been added to reduce the temperature to a frozen 0F (-18C). The low temperature is essential if the seeds are to last for thousands of years, and fortunately the ice around the seed bank won’t be melting anytime soon – it is located deep inside a remote frozen mountain.
So when I wake up in 10,000 years, I’ll be able to eat whatever I want – maize, wheat, rice… I just hope I’ll manage to figure out how to get there…
Filed under: Exploration, Health, Nature, Science, Technology | Tagged: archipelago, Arctic, Arctic Ocean, biology, doomsday, doomsday vault, Environment, geography, green, north, North pole, Norway, plant, plants, seed, seed vault, seeds, Svalbard, Svalbard archipelago, vault |