Tuesday, February 28, 2012

740,000 Seed Varieties Stored in a Vault

This isn't directly related to politics, but it's what I wrote about at work today, and I thought it was pretty interesting. So, it turns out that buried in a mountain on an island 1,000 kilometers off the northern coast of Norway is a vault that has the responsibility of safeguarding....drumroll please... 740,000 varieties of seeds. Yes, seeds. The vault's job is to protect the seed varieties from not only natural, but also manmade, disasters and preserve global seed diversity. The vault can withstand tornadoes, earthquakes, and even nuclear strike, which seems a bit extreme but in reality is actually very important.  By preserving seed diversity, the vault protects varieties that could be found to be naturally more pest-resistant or might better be able to withstand the extreme weather patterns brought by global climate change, securing potential food sources for both humans and livestock.

Here's an article from the Washington Post that sums it up pretty well.  And this website has a nifty little diagram of the vault itself.

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