‘Doomsday’ seed vault opens in Arctic, awaits doom
A so-called “doomsday” seed vault opened in the Arctic today that’s designed to store up to 4.5 million seeds as a backup for the world’s food crops (and other seed banks) just in case something ultra-tragic happens. The $9.1 million Svalbard Global Seed Vault was built into the side of a mountain some 620 miles from the North Pole on one of the Svalbard Islands; designers say it can withstand large earthquakes and a direct nuclear strike. Its remote location is an additional safeguard from wars and similar events that have destroyed seed vaults in other parts of the world. Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai and other notables attended the opening ceremony. Proponents described the vault as a safeguard against the ravages of climate change. “Crop diversity will soon prove to be our most potent and indispensable resource for addressing climate change, water, and energy supply constraints, and for meeting the food needs of a growing population,” said Cary Fowler, head of Global Crop Diversity Trust.