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Open Sesame?

March 2, 2012 - Karin Elton
I watched an interesting segment on the news this morning about a seed repository in Norway. It stores all the variety of seeds in the world — 700,000 of them — for future generations. Some are viable for 20,000 years.

Calling upon Google to refresh my memory, scientificamerican.com says that the “Svalbard Global Seed Vault is buried deep with a frozen mountainside near the Norwegian town of Longyearbyen that perpetually cools it to -0.4 Fahrenheit with or without permafrost.”

"Crop diversity will soon prove to be our most potent and indispensable resource for addressing climate change, water and energy supply constraints, and for meeting the food needs of a growing population," said an official from the Global Crop Diversity Trust.

“The vault is designed to protect against global-scale disasters—human or natural—that could potentially wipe out agriculture. Similar local seed banks have allowed farmers to recover from recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as provided new varieties capable of growing in changed conditions, such as rice strains that thrive in fields that had been inundated with saltwater after the Asian tsunami in 2004.”

Interesting — and it gives me hope for the future.

 
 

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