Norway tunnel protects millions of seeds

This is good news, from Science on msnbc.com. These seeds will be handy when the genetically modified monoculture crops becoming common in the US get wiped out by disease.

Link: Doomsday vault tunneled into Arctic mountain – Science- msnbc.com.

LONGYEARBYEN, Norway – A "doomsday" vault built to withstand an earthquake or nuclear strike was ready to open deep in the permafrost of an Arctic mountain, where it will protect millions of seeds from man-made and natural disasters.

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault was to be officially inaugurated on Tuesday, less than a year after crews started drilling in Norway’s Svalbard archipelago, about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) from the North Pole.

The vault, which Norway built at a cost of about 50 million kroner (US$9.1 million, euro6.25 million), has the capacity to store 4.5 million seed samples from around the globe, shielding them from climate change, wars, natural disasters and other threats.