Don’t panic, humanity’s ‘doomsday’ seed vault is probably still safe

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

On Friday, a slew of alarming headlines emerged regarding the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. Water had apparently breached this “fail-safe” trove of the planet’s seeds that is supposed to protect earth’s food supply in the event of a “doomsday” scenario.

The alleged failure of the vault, buried deep into an Arctic mountainside, had occurred after warmer than usual temperatures had caused a layer of permafrost to thaw, “sending meltwater gushing into the entrance tunnel” and presumably putting the world’s most diverse collection of crop seeds at risk, according to the Guardian.

“Arctic stronghold of world’s seeds flooded after permafrost melts,” the newspaper announced.

“The Arctic Doomsday Seed Vault Flooded. Thanks, Global Warming,” Wired stated.

Though water did get past the vault’s threshold, none of the seeds had been damaged. But a spokeswoman for Statsbygg — a group that advises the Norwegian government, which owns the vault — cautioned that it might only be a matter of time before they were.

Author: Laura B.

I'm the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center's Sustainability Information Curator, which is a fancy way of saying embedded librarian. I'm also Executive Director of the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable. When not writing for Environmental News Bits, I'm an avid reader. Visit Laura's Reads to see what I'm currently reading.

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