Arctic 'Doomsday Vault': The Global Seed Storage Has Been Flooded By Melting Ice

First Posted: May 22, 2017 04:54 AM EDT

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault also dubbed as the "Doomsday Vault" has been flooded by melting ice in the Arctic. The vault was conceptualized to safeguard the world's most precious seeds. On the other hand, the officials were alarmed as the water entered its entrance after having rising temperatures.

The doomsday vault is situated within a mountain on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen. It aims to conserve food sources in case of man-made or natural disasters. It could store about 2.5 billion seeds. Currently, it stored more than 880,000 seed samples from countries in the world. These include food staples like rice, maize, cowpea, wheat and sorghum, among others, according to South China Morning Post.

The Arctic temperatures have been rising this year and in the past years. It melted the ice in the Arctic and brought heavy rain during the winter. The melted water entered the entrance tunnel of the vault. However, it did not penetrate the seed bank. The experts are worried now about the vault's ability to survive disasters.

Hege Njaa Aschim, the owner of the seed bank and the spokeswoman for the Norwegian government, said that it was not in their plans to think that the permafrost would not be there. They did not anticipate as well that there would be extreme weather that would hit the region.

She also said that the vault is operated without the help of humans. On the other hand, they are now watching the seed vault 24 hours a day. They would do what they can do to lessen all the risks and assure the seed bank can take care of itself. "We are doing this for the world."

Currently, they installed pumps to remove the water in case it is flooded again. They are also putting waterproof on the entrance tunnel, according to Independent. 

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