Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Doomsday Vault

In David Morrell's latest novel, Scavenger, he makes reference to a vault on a Norwegian island that contains some two million seeds--it holds all of the edible plant varieties around the world. He compares it with a time capsule, which is a major subject in Scavenger. I thought the idea sounded cool, and so I looked it up to see if it is real.

It is!

I found an article at New Scientist, and the vault is still in planning, but should be open next year. It will be located on the island of Spitsbergen. In part the article reads:

Within a large concrete room, hewn out of a mountain on a freezing-cold island just 1000 kilometres from the North Pole, could lie the future of humanity.

The room is a "doomsday vault" designed to hold around 2 million seeds, representing all known varieties of the world's crops. It is being built to safeguard the world's food supply against nuclear war, climate change, terrorism, rising sea levels, earthquakes and the ensuing collapse of electricity supplies. "If the worst came to the worst, this would allow the world to reconstruct agriculture on this planet," says Cary Fowler, director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, an independent international organisation promoting the project.

To read the entire article at New Scientist go Here.

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