Strategically placed to survive any natural disaster, this winter’s rains flooded the arctic seed bank. The bank wasn’t destroyed, but it shows how fast things are a changing.
It was designed as an impregnable deep-freeze to protect the world’s most precious seeds from any global disaster and ensure humanity’s food supply forever. But the Global Seed Vault, buried in a mountain deep inside the Arctic circle, has been breached after global warming produced extraordinary temperatures over the winter, sending meltwater gushing into the entrance tunnel.
The vault is on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen and contains almost a million packets of seeds, each a variety of an important food crop. When it was opened in 2008, the deep permafrost through which the vault was sunk was expected to provide “failsafe” protection against “the challenge of natural or man-made disasters”.
But soaring temperatures in the Arctic at the end of the world’s hottest ever recorded year led to melting and heavy rain, when light snow should have been falling. “It was not in our plans to think that the permafrost would not be there and that it would experience extreme weather like that,” said Hege Njaa Aschim, from the Norwegian government, which owns the vault.
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The Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise worked with Houston’s National School of Tropical Medicine to sample “soil and water…blood and faecal samples” from Alabama’s Lowndes County, a poor rural area.
When inventor and MacArthur “genius grant” recipient Saul Griffith started reading papers about global warning that were written in 1974 (the same year he was born) he discovered that “all the problems we face today are familiar from 43 years ago. All the proposed solutions are similar. Merely the motivation was a little different.” In […]
Advances in Atmospheric Sciences reports that flying is going to get more and more turbulent, even at cruising altitudes, because of climate change:
While many newer smartphones boast decent water resistance, most of us are still stuck with the kind of handsets that need to spend the night in a bowl of rice when they get wet. If you want to enjoy your favorite podcasts in the shower but are holding out for your next phone upgrade, this […]
Live Home 3D Pro for Mac gives you powerful modeling tools to create floor plans and renderings for interior and exterior design projects.Whether you’re a contractor planning an extension on a client’s house, or just need to visualize how a new couch will fit in your living room, Live Home 3D helps you clarify your […]
It’s not weird to drink milk or orange juice straight from the carton. (Right?) But for some reason, sipping wine right from the bottle is usually met with disapproving glowers. Whether they’re worried about germs, or wanton displays of low-class behavior, you can make those who aren’t attuned to your relative brand of etiquette a […]
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