Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Alarmingly high rates of HIV among China's youth

Read more

ENCORE!

Samira Wiley, Darren Criss & Neal McDonough at Monte-Carlo Television Festival

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Violence against trangender women in Indonesia, and more

Read more

IN THE PRESS

'The frozen heart of America': Condemnation as migrant families torn apart in US

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'There are two policies towards Russia in the Trump administration'

Read more

PERSPECTIVE

Grandmas Project: 'Their history was passed down through food'

Read more

ACROSS AFRICA

Mali's basketball star: NBA top player Cheick Diallo makes hometown proud

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Trump threatens huge new tariffs on China

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Tunisia lose first World Cup match against England

Read more

Culture

Norway moves to protect 'Doomsday' seed vault from climate change

© Junge, Heiko / NTB Scanpix / AFP | A man carries boxes of seeds into the Svalbard Global Seed Vault (SGSV) outside Longyearbyen on Spitsbergen, Norway, on March 1, 2016.

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2017-05-20

Norway on Saturday said it would boost protection of a seed storage vault designed to protect the world's crops from disaster, after soaring temperatures caused water to leak into its entrance.

Situated deep inside a mountain on a remote Arctic island in a Norwegian archipelago, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, dubbed the "doomsday" vault, is the largest of its kind and can store up to 2.5 billion seeds.

Freezing temperatures inside the vault keep the seeds, sealed in packages and stored on shelves, usable for a long period of time.

But in October 2016, the warmest year on record, melting permafrost caused water to leak in about 15 metres (49 feet) into the entrance of a 100 metres tunnel inside the vault.

The vault managers are now constructing a waterproof wall inside for additional protection, a Norwegian government spokeswoman told AFP, adding all heat sources would also be removed from inside the vault.

"It's not good to have unnecessary heat inside" if water is coming in and permafrost is melting, Hege Njaa Aschim said.

"The water that leaked in had turned into ice... we had it removed," she said. Norwegian authorities are "taking this very seriously" and "following it continuously," she added.

There are 1,700 gene banks around the world that safeguard collections of food crops and many of these are exposed to natural disasters and wars, according to the Global Crop Diversity Trust.

"We have to listen to climate experts (and) we are prepared to do anything to protect the seed vault," Aschim said.

(AFP)

Date created : 2017-05-20

  • AUSTRALIA

    Warning of severe damage to Great Barrier Reef after second year of bleaching

    Read more

  • USA

    Climate march draws thousands to White House as Trumps marks ‘100 days’ in office

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    On phone to Macron, China’s Xi vows to stick with Paris climate deal

    Read more

COMMENT(S)