Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Seeds in Norway's ‘Doomsday Vault’ Rescued From Effects of Global Warming

The world’s global seed bank, a hedge against ecological catastrophe, has been declared safe after floodwaters caused by warming temperatures gushed into the main entrance and threatened to destroy the contents of the facility.

About 800 miles from the North Pole, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault (often referred to as the "Doomsday Vault"), sits some 400 feet above sea level — to guard against rising sea levels or enormous tsunamis — and about 425 feet down into non-geologically active bedrock. The facility was assumed to be secure from almost any danger — except, it turns out, melting permafrost.

The permafrost surrounding the facility on the remote northern island has begun to melt, as rapidly increasing temperatures, the result of global warming due to human-induced climate change, cause frozen water to cascade back into the ocean.

"A lot of water went into the start of the tunnel and then it froze to ice," said Norwegian government spokesperson Hege Njaa Aschim, "so it was like a glacier when you went in," the Guardian reported.

The seed samples were not affected, and steps were quickly taken to safeguard the contents of the vault, including installing pumps, waterproofing the 300-foot entrance tunnel, and digging trenches to channel meltwater, but long-term solutions are unknown......https://sptnkne.ws/e24A

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