Friday, May 19, 2017

"Arctic stronghold of world’s seeds flooded after permafrost melts"

"It was designed as an impregnable deep-freeze to protect the world’s most precious seeds from any global disaster and ensure humanity’s food supply forever," and opened in 2008.

Or, "Turns out the Svalbard seed vault is probably fine"

“If there was a worst case scenario where there was so much water, or the pumping systems failed, that it made its way uphill to the seed vault, then it would encounter minus 18 [degrees celsius] and freeze again. Then there’s another barrier [the ice] for entry into the seed vault,” Fowler says. In other words, any water that floods into the tunnel has to make it 100 meters downhill, then back uphill, then overwhelm the pumping systems, and then manage not to freeze at well-below-freezing temperatures. Otherwise, there's no way liquid is getting into the seed bank—so the seeds are probably safe.