Global Seed Vault Opens in Arctic
A frozen â€śdoomsdayâ€? vault where millions of the worldâ€™s seeds will be stored opened Tuesday in an Arctic mountain in Norway, reported the Associated Press.
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault was built to protect as many as 4.5 million crop seeds from disasters ranging from global warming to nuclear strikes, reported the AP.
According to the AP, the vault was built by the Norwegian government for $9.1 million and will operate like a bank box: Norway owns the bank, but the countries depositing the seeds own them and can use them as needed free of charge.
Among the first seeds placed in the vault were varieties of potatoes, barley, lettuce, aubergines, black-eyed pea, sorghum and wheat, reported the Times Online, though first to be placed was a specially prepared box of rice from 104 countries.
The vault, consisting of three chambers built 400 feet inside a mountain, will be kept at -0.4 F, reported the Times.
Cary Fowler, the executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust that led the project, said the opening of the vault marked a historic turning point in â€śsafeguarding the worldâ€™s crop diversity,â€? reported Scientific American. She added that crop diversity would soon prove to be one of the most important factors in many of the worldâ€™s problems including climate change and water and energy supply.