Friday, February 01, 2008

FLASHBACK: Cooling Down Begins At Svalbard Global Seed Vault


I may be missing the big picture, here comes the first but... (there will be two) I've not seen where anyone else has brought this up.

Biodiversity is all well and good and I'm glad to see something is being done to ensure it. Once species are gone, game over.

From everything I've read, this experiment is going quite well. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is being prepared and seeds are being gathered from around the world, 7,000 unique seed samples from Africa alone are en route.

It appears very careful planning went into this huge, expensive program
Refrigeration units began pumping chilly air deep into an Arctic mountain cavern today, launching the innovative and critical "cooling down" phase of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in advance of its official opening early next year as a fail-safe repository of the world's vital food crops. Svalbard is now three days into the three-month "Polar Night" period when there is 24 hours of complete darkness. Engineers working for the government of Norway, which is building the facility on the Svalbard archipelago, launched the cooling operation that, over the next two months, will bring the temperature of the sandstone rock surrounding the seed vault from its current -5 degrees Celsius (23 degrees Fahrenheit), to -18 degrees Celsius (about 0 degrees Fahrenheit). The vault is to be officially opened 26 February 2007. "It's very satisfying to see the vault evolve from a bold concept to an impressive facility that has everything we need to protect crop biodiversity," said Mr. Terje Riis-Johansen, Norway's Minister of Agriculture and Food.

Here comets the second but...what happens when climate change has wiped out much of the food stocks, people, livestock are starving and its time to bring out those seeds?

Do you expect riots? Do you think the scientists have considered what they'll do then? Do you think they know when is the right time to bring them out? If they bring them out too early, will they just die off?

Have they planned for the back side of this Svalbard Global Seed Vault cycle? Just asking.

Via The Signs.

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