vox.com - 11 days ago
The Arctic "doomsday" seed vault is supposed to ensure the future of humanity. It just flooded.
Deep underground in the far reaches of the arctic North, there’s a fortress that’s supposed to be one of humanity’s safeguards if we can’t feed ourselves in the future.
It’s a vault containing 500 million seeds, representing 880,000 different crops, many of which can’t be found in fields today. It’s the ultimate failsafe if the world’s farms burn or diseases decimate our staples and we have to start over. The facility is supposed to keep these seeds safe for hundreds of years, without human oversight. What the designers weren’t counting on so much: floods linked to climate change. The Guardian is reporting that a flood due to melting arctic permafrost has breached the facility, creating an icy mess. The seeds are safe for now — they’re packaged in moisture-proof bags, and the flood didn’t reach the vault, just the entrance. Still, it caught the facility managers by surprise.
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