Friday, February 9, 2007
Deep-Freeze The Peas, Please
Let's say you were responsible for preserving the Earth's biodiversity in the event of catastrophic climate change? What sort of things would you look for before you started building your doomsday seed vault?
Well, first off, there'd have to be a natural source of refrigeration in the event of power failure. So finding a mountain with a permafrost core would top the list. You'd have to model worst-case global warming scenarios for 200 years into the future, to make sure the location would not be overtaken by the rising ocean levels. Radiation levels would be a major concern, too, so you'd have to check those out.
Luckily, scientists in Norway have already done all the work for us, though. They'll be breaking ground in March, with the vault scheduled to open in 2008. Now that's a ribbon-cutting ceremony I'd pay to attend.