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Doomsday vault … how do WE get there?

February 9, 2007

I saw this story from the BBC today about the Norwegian government building of a “doomsday” plant seed vault that will hold seeds of all food crops and plant life, to help repopulate the plant with life after we muck it all up (or an asteroid does it for us). It’s scheduled to open in 2008.

They are building this storage area in the Arctic Circle.  Here’s more from the BBC:

The seed vault will be built 120m (364ft) inside a mountain on Spitsbergen, one of four islands that make up Svalbard.

Map showing location of Svalbard (Image: BBC)

Dr Fowler said Svalbard, 1,000km (621 miles) north of mainland Norway, was chosen as the location for the vault because it was very remote and it also offered the level of stability required for the long-term project.

“We looked very far into the future. We looked at radiation levels inside the mountain, and we looked at the area’s geological structure,” he told BBC News.

“We also modelled climate change in a drastic form 200 years into future, which included the melting of ice sheets at the North and South Poles, and Greenland, to make sure that this site was above the resulting water level.”

By building the vault deep inside the mountain, the surrounding permafrost would continue to provide natural refrigeration if the mechanical system failed, explained Dr Fowler.

The story mentions that there are other seed vaults around the world, and this will just accentuate and replicate the supply of the others, just in case the doomsday asteroid is a vault-seeker.

But I’ve seen the “The Day After Tomorrow” (laughable…who WALKS to New York from Philadelphia in the biggest winter storm in history?) and “The Day After.”  How are we supposed to get to this island in the middle of the Arctic Ocean if the world has gone defunct?  That’s just one minor problem, I’d think.


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