Doomsday Vault - Fantasy Football Cafe 2014 Fantasy Football Cafe


Return to General Talk

Doomsday Vault

Moderator: Football Moderators

Doomsday Vault

Postby Omaha Red Sox » Mon Jun 19, 2006 7:26 am

Doomsday vault to avert world famine

12 January 2006
From New Scientist Print Edition.
Fred Pearce

WITHIN a large concrete room, hewn out of a mountain on a freezing-cold island just 1000 kilometres from the North Pole, could lie the future of humanity.

The room is a "doomsday vault" designed to hold around 2 million seeds, representing all known varieties of the world's crops. It is being built to safeguard the world's food supply against nuclear war, climate change, terrorism, rising sea levels, earthquakes and the ensuing collapse of electricity supplies. "If the worst came to the worst, this would allow the world to reconstruct agriculture on this planet," says Cary Fowler, director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, an independent international organisation promoting the project.

New Scientist has learned that the Norwegian government is planning to create the seed bank next year at the behest of crop scientists. The $3 million vault will be built deep inside a sandstone mountain lined with permafrost on the Norwegian Arctic island of Spitsbergen. The vault will have metre-thick walls of reinforced concrete and will be protected behind two airlocks and high-security blast-proof doors. It will not be permanently manned, but "the mountains are patrolled by polar bears", says Fowler.

The vault's seed collection, made up of duplicates of those already held at other seed banks, will represent the products of some 10,000 years of plant breeding by the world's farmers. Though most are no longer widely planted, the varieties contain vital genetic traits still regularly used in plant breeding.

To survive, the seeds need freezing temperatures. Operators plan to replace the air inside the vault each winter, when temperatures in Spitsbergen are around -18 °C. But even if some catastrophe meant that the vault was abandoned, the permafrost would keep the seeds viable. And even accelerated global warming would take many decades to penetrate the mountain vault.

"This will be the world's most secure gene bank by some orders of magnitude," says Fowler. "But its seeds will only be used when all other samples have gone for some reason. It is a fail-safe depository, rather than a conventional seed bank."

Norway first proposed the project in the 1980s but it was shelved because of security concerns: under an international treaty the Soviet Union had access to Spitsbergen at the time. With the end of the cold war and the signing of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources, which gives legal protection to national crops, the door was open for the idea's revival.

The project also comes at a time when there is growing concern about the safety of existing seed banks around the world. Many have been criticised for their poor security, ageing refrigeration systems and vulnerable electricity supplies. In the late 1980s, terrorists ransacked an international potato seed bank in the Peruvian Andes, while more recently anti-globalisation campaigners have demonstrated against other banks.

The new Fort Knox for the world's crops will start by taking seeds from the network of seed banks run in the Philippines, Mexico, Syria, Nigeria and elsewhere by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, which is part-funded by the World Bank. "We will then add samples from elsewhere until we have a complete set of the world's crop varieties," says Fowler.

The scheme won UN approval at a meeting of the Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome last October. A feasibility study said the facility "would essentially be built to last forever".

From issue 2534 of New Scientist magazine, 12 January 2006, page 12


link
Omaha Red Sox
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar
Cafe Ranker
Posts: 12290
Joined: 29 Jun 2005
Home Cafe: Football
Location: Probably over there

Postby knapplc » Mon Jun 19, 2006 7:56 am

Interesting idea. Of course, it won't help when the aliens come and harvest us all for food, or when the machines take over and humans become their slaves, or when runaway global warming makes the planet a desert from pole to pole, or when the asteroid hits, or when....


:-)
Image
How 'bout them Huskers!
knapplc
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar
Cafe WriterCafe RankerGolden Eagle EyeCafe MusketeerCafe Blackjack Weekly Winner
Posts: 18961
Joined: 27 Dec 2004
Home Cafe: Football
Location: It's an L, not an I

Postby Omaha Red Sox » Mon Jun 19, 2006 9:47 am

Don't worry about a thing. We have seeds. ;-D
Omaha Red Sox
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar
Cafe Ranker
Posts: 12290
Joined: 29 Jun 2005
Home Cafe: Football
Location: Probably over there

Postby Twisted Sister » Mon Jun 19, 2006 12:49 pm

Does that include all seeds? I'm thinking of moonhead here ;-)
Twisted Sister
General Manager
General Manager

User avatar
Cafe Blackjack Weekly WinnerLucky Ladders Weekly Winner
Posts: 2822
Joined: 19 Apr 2006
Home Cafe: Football

Postby knapplc » Mon Jun 19, 2006 1:04 pm

Twisted Sister wrote:Does that include all seeds? I'm thinking of moonhead here ;-)


If it was the Dutch doing this I'd say the odds would be 100%. I have no idea what the Norwegians' interest in "herbs" is. :-?
Image
How 'bout them Huskers!
knapplc
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar
Cafe WriterCafe RankerGolden Eagle EyeCafe MusketeerCafe Blackjack Weekly Winner
Posts: 18961
Joined: 27 Dec 2004
Home Cafe: Football
Location: It's an L, not an I

Postby moonhead » Mon Jun 19, 2006 1:24 pm

if some major catastrophe does strike, we are going to need the special reserve seeds. ;-D

plus you can use it for paper and ropes and clothes and i can go on and on.
Image
moonhead
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar
Fantasy ExpertCafe RankerMock(ing) DrafterEagle Eye
Posts: 15994
Joined: 16 Oct 2004
Home Cafe: Football
Location: questioning your fanhood...funk o'meter: funkalicious

Postby HskrPwr13 » Mon Jun 19, 2006 4:04 pm

Another thing this article doesnt take into consideration is soil. If the ground becomes contaminated via nukes or, as knapp alluded to, that the ground becomes barren, the seeds are pretty much worthless. All-in-all though its still a pretty decent idea.
HskrPwr13
General Manager
General Manager

User avatar

Posts: 3936
Joined: 8 Sep 2004
Home Cafe: Football

Postby onnestabe » Mon Jun 19, 2006 4:40 pm

I think we need to make a bunch of obscure clues that, when put together correctly, will point a handsome older man towards the location of the seed bank. Then, years after the catastrophic event, someone could make a movie about putting the clues together and finding the see bank just before an evil Irish terrorist (played by Sean Bean's great-great-great grandson) and saving the world or getting very rich (think National Treasure or DaVinci Code). ;-D
onnestabe
General Manager
General Manager

User avatar
CafeholicCafe RankerEagle Eye
Posts: 4074
Joined: 6 Oct 2004
Home Cafe: Football
Location: Cincinnati - West Price Hill

Postby moonhead » Mon Jun 19, 2006 5:15 pm

onnestabe wrote:I think we need to make a bunch of obscure clues that, when put together correctly, will point a handsome older man towards the location of the seed bank. Then, years after the catastrophic event, someone could make a movie about putting the clues together and finding the see bank just before an evil Irish terrorist (played by Sean Bean's great-great-great grandson) and saving the world or getting very rich (think National Treasure or DaVinci Code). ;-D


brilliant. hundreds of years in the future hollywood will still be recycling crappy story lines and making billions.
Image
moonhead
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar
Fantasy ExpertCafe RankerMock(ing) DrafterEagle Eye
Posts: 15994
Joined: 16 Oct 2004
Home Cafe: Football
Location: questioning your fanhood...funk o'meter: funkalicious

Postby Dan Lambskin » Tue Jun 20, 2006 8:44 am

moonhead wrote:
onnestabe wrote:I think we need to make a bunch of obscure clues that, when put together correctly, will point a handsome older man towards the location of the seed bank. Then, years after the catastrophic event, someone could make a movie about putting the clues together and finding the see bank just before an evil Irish terrorist (played by Sean Bean's great-great-great grandson) and saving the world or getting very rich (think National Treasure or DaVinci Code). ;-D


brilliant. hundreds of years in the future hollywood will still be recycling crappy story lines and making billions.


Brilliant. it'll star Insanity Joile-Pitt-Witherspoon-Cruise...or some kid with a stupid name and a big chain of celebrity history
Dan Lambskin
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar
EditorFantasy ExpertCafe RankerMock(ing) DrafterEagle EyeSurvival Of The Fittest WinnerPick 3 Weekly WinnerMatchup Meltdown SurvivorCafe Blackjack Weekly WinnerLucky Ladders Weekly WinnerTrivia Time Trial Monthly Winner
Posts: 7054
Joined: 20 Mar 2005
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: being a fan of the worst franchise in the NFL


Return to General Talk

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

Forums Articles & Tips Start & Sit Sleepers Rankings Leagues


Get Ready...
The 2014 NFL season kicks off in 11:48 hours
(and 36 days)
2014 NFL Schedule


  • Fantasy Football
  • Article Submissions
  • Privacy Statement
  • Site Survey 
  • Contact