Sunday, January 27, 2008

SEEDS FOR THE APOCALYPSE

Longyearbyen, Norway. It's a village on the Svalbard archipelago, close to the Arctic Circle. Go there when the balloon goes up.

Seeds from more than 200,000 crops are on their way to an underground vault in Longyearbyen, where they will, in theory, be safe for post-doomsday stragglers to use as they rebuild.

According to last year's news release about the project:
Svalbard’s airport is the northernmost point in the world to be serviced by scheduled flights – usually one a day. For nearly four months a year the islands are wrapped in total darkness.

The site was chosen, in part, because the ground is perpetually frozen, providing natural back-up refrigeration that would preserve the seeds should electricity fail. Yet, even here, project architects had to consider how to offset the potential impacts of climate change.

The design will accommodate even worst-case scenarios of global warming in two main ways. For one, the vault will be located high above any possible rise in sea level caused by global warming. The vault will be located some 130 meters (426 feet) above current sea level, ensuring that it will not be flooded.
Four months of darkness, sure, but also four months of the midnight sun, and this part of the Arctic Circle is enchanting.

4 comments:

Busplunge said...

There are strange things done in the midnightsun by the men who toil for gold. The Artic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold. The Northern Lights have seen queer sights but the queerest they ever did see was this burying seed stuff.

Anonymous said...

Robert Service would be proud of that, Busplunge.

Anonymous said...

Svalbard is where the armored bears live.

sammcgee said...

Sam Mcgee...