Tags: doomsday | vault | seeds | deposit

Doomsday Vault: Seeds, 50,000 of Them, Deposited in Arctic Stronghold

Image: Doomsday Vault: Seeds, 50,000 of Them, Deposited in Arctic Stronghold

Nearly 10 years after a "doomsday" seed vault opened on an Arctic island off Norway, some 50,000 new samples have been deposited in the world’s largest repository, built to safeguard against wars or natural disasters wiping out global food crops. (Heiko Junge/ NTB scanpix, File via AP)

By    |   Friday, 24 Feb 2017 04:38 PM

The "doomsday" seed vault on the Arctic island of Svalbard received a deposit of 50,000 new seeds Wednesday from collections around the world to keep them safe in case a global disaster destroys food crops.

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault was built underground in a permafrost zone about 600 miles from the North Pole in 2008 and is meant to be a backup to other seed banks around the world.

The vault contains seed samples for foods like potatoes, sorghum, rice, barley, chickpeas, lentil, and wheat, which are consumed by much of the global population.

About 15,000 of the samples were given by the International Center for Agricultural Research, which borrowed seeds from the vault when it could not access seeds stored in the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo, The Associated Press reported.

The research center reconstituted the seeds it borrowed and returned them to the vault after distributing some to breeders and researchers.

“The reconstituted seeds will play a critical role in developing climate-resilient crops for generations,” research center head Aly Abousabaa said, the AP reported. The research center is devoted to developing ways to grow better crops in dry climates.

The seeds deposited Wednesday were from collections in Benin, India, Pakistan, Lebanon, Morocco, Netherlands, the U.S., Mexico, and Britain, among others, according to the AP.

The doomsday vault now holds 940,000 seeds; it has a capacity of 4.5 million total. It is currently the largest seed vault in the world.

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The "doomsday" seed vault on the Arctic island of Svalbard received a deposit of 50,000 new seeds Wednesday from collections around the world to keep them safe in case a global disaster destroys food crops.
doomsday, vault, seeds, deposit
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2017-38-24
Friday, 24 Feb 2017 04:38 PM
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