Atlantis Online
October 19, 2020, 04:35:54 pm
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Remains of ancient civilisation discovered on the bottom of a lake
http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20071227/94372640.html
 
  Home Help Arcade Gallery Links Staff List Calendar Login Register  

AGRICULTURAL NOAH'S ARK IN ARCTIC-Svalbard International Seed Vault


Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: AGRICULTURAL NOAH'S ARK IN ARCTIC-Svalbard International Seed Vault  (Read 918 times)
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« on: June 18, 2009, 07:23:01 am »











                                Agricultural Noah's Ark: Doomsday Seed Vault In Arctic



                               To Outlast Major Sea Level Rise And Permafrost Warming






ScienceDaily
(Feb. 9, 2007)

— The Norwegian government has revealed the architectural design for the Svalbard International
Seed Vault, to be carved deep into frozen rock on an island not far from the North Pole. The entrance to the "fail-safe" seed vault will "gleam like a gem in the midnight sun," signaling a priceless treasure within: seed samples of nearly every food crop of every country. The vault is designed to protect the agricultural heritage of humankind -- the seeds essential to agriculture of every nation.

"This design takes us one step closer to guaranteeing the safety of the world's most important natural resource," said Dr. Cary Fowler, Executive Director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, which will co-fund the vault's operations and pay for the preparation and transport of seeds from all developing nations to the Arctic island of Svalbard. "Every day that passes we lose crop biodiversity. We must conserve the seeds that will allow agriculture to adapt to challenges such as climate change and crop disease. This design is as awesome physically as it is attractive aesthetically, and both are fitting tributes to the importance of the biological treasure to be stored there."

Construction is slated to begin in March 2007 and to be completed in September 2007. The vault will officially open in late winter 2008.

"By investing in a global permafrost safety facility for seeds, the Norwegian Government hopes to contribute to combating the loss of biological diversity, to reduce our vulnerability to climatic changes, and to enhance our ability to secure future food production," said Mr. Terje Riis-Johansen, Minister of Agriculture and Food, Norway.

The site was chosen, in part, because the ground is perpetually frozen, providing natural back-up refrigeration that would preserve the seeds should electricity fail. Yet, even here, project architects had to consider how to offset the potential impacts of climate change.

The design will accommodate even worst-case scenarios of global warming in two main ways. For one, the vault will be located high above any possible rise in sea level caused by global warming: the vault will be located some 130 metres above current sea level, ensuring that it will not be flooded. This puts it well above a seven metre rise that would accompany the melting of Greenland's ice sheet, or even a 61 metre rise that could accompany an unlikely total meltdown of Antarctica.

Secondly, scientists determined the impact of rising air temperatures on the permafrost, which is normally between -4°C and -6°C (24.8°F and 21.2°F). They found that the permafrost would warm much more slowly than the air. In addition, the deeper into the mountain, the colder it will remain. Therefore, the vault will be located an extraordinary 120 metres into the rock, ensuring that rising external air temperatures will have no influence on the surrounding permafrost.

"Even climate change over the next 200 years will not significantly affect the permafrost temperature," says project manager Magnus Bredeli Tveiten, with Statsbygg, the Norwegian government's Directorate of Public Construction and Property.

To accomplish this, the 120-metre entry tunnel will penetrate through the permafrost, opening to two large chambers capable of holding three million seed samples. The tunnel and vaults will be excavated by means of well-known boring and blasting techniques, with the rock walls sprayed with concrete.

In contrast to this utilitarian interior, "the exterior structure shoots out of the mountainside," Tveiten said. The entrance portal will be a narrow triangular structure of cement and metal, illuminated with artwork which changes according to the special lighting conditions of the Arctic. In the summer months, the entrance "will gleam like a gem in the midnight sun," Tveiten says. Throughout the dark winter, when the sun never rises, it will glow with gently changing lights.

The design also reflects of the project's approach to security.

"We decided early on that there is no point in trying to hide this facility from the public," Tveiten said. "Instead we will rely on its presence being well-known in the local community, so if the public sees something suspicious, they will react to it."

Other security measures include several sets of reinforced doors between the entrance and the chambers, the absence of windows, and a video monitoring system.

Riis-Johansen emphasized the vault's importance to the world community. "From a global perspective the emphasis is on assisting developing countries by offering a safe haven for their valuable biological material. I also hope that the interest that is shown in the Svalbard Arctic Seed Vault will create increased awareness for the need for conservation and sustainable use of our genetic resources."

The Arctic seed vault is part of a comprehensive global strategy being implemented by the Global Crop Diversity Trust to protect collections of crop genetic diversity around the world.
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2009, 07:26:20 am »










The Global Crop Diversity Trust



The mission of the Trust is to ensure the conservation and availability of crop diversity for food security worldwide. Although crop diversity is fundamental to fighting hunger and to the very future of agriculture, funding is unreliable and diversity is being lost. The Trust is the only organization working worldwide to solve this problem. The Trust is finalizing an agreement with the Royal Ministry of Agriculture and Food of Norway and the Nordic Gene Bank to provide for the long-term funding, management and operation of the vault.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Adapted from materials provided by Global Crop Diversity Trust.
Email or share this story:| More Need to cite this story in your essay, paper, or report? Use one of the following formats:
 APA

 MLA Global Crop Diversity Trust (2007, February 9). Agricultural Noah's Ark: Doomsday Seed Vault In Arctic To Outlast Major Sea Level Rise And Permafrost Warming. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 18, 2009, from



 http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2007/02/070209074207.htm
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2009, 07:29:10 am »










                                  'Cooling Down' Begins At Svalbard Global Seed Vault






ScienceDaily
(Nov. 16, 2007)

— Refrigeration units began pumping chilly air deep into an Arctic mountain cavern today, launching the innovative and critical "cooling down" phase of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in advance of its official opening early next year as a fail-safe repository of the world's vital food crops. Svalbard is now three days into the three-month "Polar Night" period when there is 24 hours of complete darkness.

Engineers working for the government of Norway, which is building the facility on the Svalbard archipelago, launched the cooling operation that, over the next two months, will bring the temperature of the sandstone rock surrounding the seed vault from its current -5 degrees Celsius (23 degrees Fahrenheit), to -18 degrees Celsius (about 0 degrees Fahrenheit). The vault is to be officially opened 26 February 2007.

"It's very satisfying to see the vault evolve from a bold concept to an impressive facility that has everything we need to protect crop biodiversity," said Mr. Terje Riis-Johansen, Norway's Minister of Agriculture and Food.

"The seed vault is the perfect place for keeping seeds safe for centuries," said Cary Fowler, Executive Director of the Rome-based Global Crop Diversity Trust, which has partnered with Norway and the Nordic Gene Bank on the establishment of the vault. "At these temperatures, seeds for important crops like wheat, barley and peas can last for up to 1000 years."

With its capacity to hold up to 4.5 million seed samples, the vault will eventually house virtually every variety of almost every important food crop in the world. The vast collection is intended as a hedge against disaster so that food production can be restarted anywhere on the planet should it be threatened by a regional or global catastrophe. Thus, it is critical that the vault have the technical capability to keep seeds cool and viable for a long period of time.

"We ran a lot of computer simulations to determine the optimum approach and believe we have found a very effective and especially energy efficient way to establish reliably cool conditions inside the vault," said project manager Magnus Bredeli Tveiten with Statsbygg, the Norwegian government's Directorate of Public Construction. "We believe the design of the facility will ensure that the seeds will stay well-preserved even if such forces as global warming raise temperatures outside the facility."

Engineers are essentially using rock as a "cold store," he said, an approach that has become popular on the Norwegian mainland as a way to establish energy efficient refrigeration systems. To do this, workers recently brought in a temporary 30 kilowatt refrigeration system from the mainland. They are using it to establish an -18 degree temperature approximately 10 meters deep into the sandstone surrounding the vault. The vault sits at the end of a 120 meter tunnel blasted in a mountain near the town of Longyearbyen on the island of Spitsbergen.

Tveiten said past experience has shown that the rock should stay sufficiently cold over a long period of time to allow a -18 C temperature in the vault to be maintained by a smaller, permanent 10 kilowatt system. He said the long-term cooling process also is aided by the natural permafrost in the area and the snow and ice that covers the mountain for much of the year--all of which ensure that the rock stays at least at -4 C.

As engineers move quickly to complete the mechanics of the operation, Tveiten said Norwegian officials also are advancing rapidly to ensure that the vault's aesthetic features are as impressive as its technical qualities.

Norway requires setting aside at least one percent of public building budgets for artwork. To comply with this mandate, Statsbygg recently approved the design of a large, sparkling metallic sculpture by the Norwegian artist Dyveke Sanne that will be incorporated into the mountain-side entrance portal of the vault, making it visible from miles around.

The installation utilizes multiple pieces of highly polished sheet metal installed along the roof and front of the portal to serve as reflectors. They are placed so they will sparkle in the Arctic "midnight sun" of the summer months, and will make use of fibre-optics for lighting during the long Arctic winters.

"We really want this facility to inspire, to stand out as a highly visible monument to the often obscure but very important mission of conserving humanity's agriculture heritage," said Mr. Terje Riis-Johansen.

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is designed to store duplicates of seeds from seed collections from around the globe. If seeds are lost, e.g. as a result of natural disasters, war or simply a lack of resources, the seed collections may be reestablished using seeds from Svalbard. The seed vault is owned by the Norwegian government which has also financed the construction work, costing nearly NOK 50 million.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Adapted from materials provided by Svalbard Global Seed Vault, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.
Email or share this story:| More Need to cite this story in your essay, paper, or report? Use one of the following formats:
 APA

 MLA Svalbard Global Seed Vault (2007, November 16). 'Cooling Down' Begins At Svalbard Global Seed Vault. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 18, 2009, from



http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2007/11/071115202541.htm
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2009, 07:31:39 am »








The Svalbard Global Seed Vault opened February 26 on a remote island in the Arctic Circle, receiving inaugural shipments of 100 million seeds that originated in over 100 countries.

(Credit:
Mari Tefre/
Global Crop Diversity Trust)
« Last Edit: June 18, 2009, 07:33:20 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2009, 07:36:06 am »



Packaging seeds.

Thousands of Crop Varieties from Four Corners of the World Depart for Arctic Seed Vault.

(Credit:
CIMMYT,
Mexico.)
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2009, 07:37:49 am »










                               Thousands Of Crop Varieties Depart For Arctic Seed Vault






ScienceDaily
(Jan. 26, 2008)

— At the end of January, more than 200,000 crop varieties from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East—drawn from vast seed collections maintained by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)—will be shipped to a remote island near the Arctic Circle, where they will be stored in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault (SGSV), a facility capable of preserving their vitality for thousands of years.

The cornucopia of rice, wheat, beans, sorghum, sweet potatoes, lentils, chick peas and a host of other food, forage and agroforestry plants is to be safeguarded in the facility, which was created as a repository of last resort for humanity’s agricultural heritage. The seeds will be shipped to the village of Longyearbyen on Norway’s Svalbard archipelago, where the vault has been constructed on a mountain deep inside the Arctic permafrost.

The vault was built by the Norwegian government as a service to the global community, and a Rome-based international NGO, the Global Crop Diversity Trust, will fund its operation. The vault will open on February 26, 2008.

This first installment from the CGIAR collections will contain duplicates from international agricultural research centers based in Benin, Colombia, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, the Philippines and Syria. Collectively, the CGIAR centers maintain 600,000 plant varieties in crop genebanks, which are widely viewed as the foundation of global efforts to conserve agricultural biodiversity.

“Our ability to endow this facility with such an impressive array of diversity is a powerful testament to the incredible work of scientists at our centers, who have been so dedicated to ensuring the survival of the world’s most important crop species,” said Emile Frison, Director General of Rome-based Bioversity International, which coordinates CGIAR crop diversity initiatives.

“The CGIAR collections are the ‘crown jewels’ of international agriculture,” said Cary Fowler, Executive Director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, which will cover the costs of preparing, packaging and transporting CGIAR seeds to the Arctic. “They include the world’s largest and most diverse collections of rice, wheat, maize and beans. Many traditional landraces of these crops would have been lost had they not been collected and stored in the genebanks.”

For example, the wheat collection held just outside Mexico City by the CGIAR-supported International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) contains 150,000 unique samples of wheat and its relatives from more than 100 countries. It is the largest unified collection in the world for a single crop. Overall, the maize collection represents nearly 90 percent of maize diversity in the Americas, where the crop originated. CIMMYT will continue to send yearly shipments of regenerated seed until the entire collection of maize and wheat has been backed up at Svalbard.

Storage of these and all the other seeds at Svalbard is intended to ensure that they will be available for bolstering food security should a manmade or natural disaster threaten agricultural systems, or even the genebanks themselves, at any point in the future.

“We need to understand that genebanks are not seed museums but the repositories of vital, living resources that are used almost every day in the never-ending battle against major threats to food production,” Bioversity International’s Frison said. “We’re going to need this diversity to breed new varieties that can adapt to climate change, new diseases and other rapidly emerging threats.”
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2009, 07:39:40 am »











Why are genebanks important?



The CGIAR collections are famous in plant breeding circles as a treasure trove for plant breeders searching for traits to help them combat destructive crop diseases and pests, such as the black sigatoka fungus, which is devastating banana production in East Africa, and grain borer beetle, which is destroying maize in Kenya.

Just from January to August of 2007, CGIAR centers distributed almost 100,000 samples. The materials mainly go to researchers and plant breeders seeking genetic traits to create new crop varieties that offer such benefits as higher yields, improved nutritional value, resistance to pests and diseases, and the ability to survive changing climatic conditions, which are expected to make floods and drought more frequent.

In addition, these collections have often been used to help restore agricultural systems after conflicts and natural disasters.

For example, among the 135,000 food and forage seeds maintained at the CGIAR-supported International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) in Aleppo, Syria, 3,000 varieties are native to Afghanistan, and 1,000 are from Iraq. The seeds preserved have been used to help revitalize crop diversity in these war-torn regions.

“Svalbard will be able to help replenish genebanks if they’re hit,” said Cary Fowler. Iraq’s genebank in the town of Abu Ghraib was ransacked by looters in 2003. Fortunately there was a safety duplicate at the CGIAR center in Syria. Typhoon Xangsane seriously damaged the genebank of the Philippines national rice genebank in 2006. “Unfortunately, these kinds of national genebank horror stories are fairly common place,” said Fowler. “The Svalbard Global Seed Vault makes the CGIAR’s genebank collections safer than ever.”

After the Asian tsunami disaster of 2004, the CGIAR-supported International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) used its collections to provide farmers with rice varieties suitable for growing in fields that had been inundated with salt water. The genebank at the CGIAR-supported International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Palmira, Colombia was instrumental in providing bean varieties to farmers in Honduras and Nicaragua in the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch in 1998.

According to Geoff Hawtin, Acting Director General of CIAT and former executive director of the Rome-based Global Crop Diversity Trust, “The shipments going to Svalbard from the CGIAR genebanks are a vital measure for further safeguarding the world’s crop collections. With coming climatic changes, higher food prices, and expanding markets for biofuels, our best available options for progress, if not survival, will be in what we have conserved and studied against all thinkable predictions.”


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Adapted from materials provided by Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research.
Email or share this story:| More Need to cite this story in your essay, paper, or report? Use one of the following formats:
 APA

 MLA Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (2008, January 26). Thousands Of Crop Varieties Depart For Arctic Seed Vault. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 18, 2009, from



http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2008/01/080122203028.htm 
« Last Edit: June 18, 2009, 07:40:12 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2009, 07:48:40 am »











                 Scientists Behind 'Doomsday Seed Vault' Ready World's Crops For Climate Change






ScienceDaily
(Sep. 18, 2008)

— As climate change is credited as one of the main drivers behind soaring food prices, the Global Crop Diversity Trust is undertaking a major effort to search crop collections—from Azerbaijan to Nigeria—for the traits that could arm agriculture against the impact of future changes. Traits, such as drought resistance in wheat, or salinity tolerance in potato, will become essential as crops around the world have to adapt to new climate conditions.

Climate change is having the most negative impact in the poorest regions of the world, already causing a decrease in yields of most major food crops due to droughts, floods, increasingly salty soils and higher temperatures.

Crop diversity is the raw material needed for improving and adapting food crops to harsher climate conditions and constantly evolving pests and diseases. However, it is disappearing from many of the places where it has been placed for safekeeping—the world's genebanks. Compounding the fact that it is not well conserved is the fact that it is not well understood. A lack of readily available and accurate data on key traits can severely hinder plant breeders' efforts to identify material they can use to breed new varieties best suited for the climates most countries will experience in the coming decades. The support provided by the Global Crop Diversity Trust will not only rescue collections which are at risk, but enable breeders and others to screen collections for important characteristics.

"Our crops must produce more food, on the same amount of land, with less water, and more expensive energy," said Cary Fowler, Executive Director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust. "This, on top of climate change, poses an unprecedented challenge to farming. There is no possible scenario in which we can continue to grow the food we require without crop diversity. Through our grants we seek, as a matter of urgency, to rescue threatened crop collections and better understand and conserve crop diversity."

Through a competitive grants scheme, the Trust will provide funding for projects that screen developing country collections—including wheat, chickpea, rice, barley, lentils, coconut, banana, maize, and sweet potato—for traits that will be essential for breeding climate-ready varieties. These projects involve 21 agricultural research institutions in Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Israel, Mali, Nigeria, Niger, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Syria.

Scientists will be screening chickpea and wheat collections in Pakistan for traits of economic importance for farmers; characterizing rare coconuts in Sri Lanka for traits of drought tolerance and tolerance to other pests and diseases; screening for salinity tolerance in sweet potatoes in Peru; and identifying drought-tolerant bananas in India.

Much of the screening will take place within collections where many of the unique samples are at risk. Therefore, in addition to its efforts to bolster the development of climate-ready crops, the Trust will provide funding to save unique crop collections that are at risk of disappearing. Crop collections need to be re-grown at regular intervals, and fresh seed harvested and placed in seedbanks to ensure long-term conservation and availability. The Trust is working with more than 60 countries to "regenerate" unique collections of crops critical for food security, and to ensure that they are duplicated elsewhere for safety in a collection that meets international standards, as well as in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

Worldwide, there are a handful of crop collections that can be said to meet international standards. And even these few, despite their role in protecting the foundation of our food supply, lurch from one funding arrangement to the next without ever having any real long-term security. The Trust is now endowing these, the world's most important collections, ensuring their conservation and availability for the future of agriculture. Crops already being safeguarded by the Trust's pledge of financial security include banana, barley, bean, cassava, faba bean, forages, grass pea, lentil, pearl millet, rice, sorghum, taro, wheat and yam. These are housed in collections managed in trust for humanity at eight agricultural institutions that are supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and by the Secretariat for the Pacific Community.

"Secure funding on this sort of time-scale has been unheard of in this field. Crop collections are all too often amassed and then lost according to changing funding fashions and priorities," said Daniel Debouck, Head of the Genetic Resources Unit at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), one of the agricultural institutions supported by the CGIAR. "Genebanking is not something you can turn on and off, and a shortfall in funding of just a few months can result in the permanent loss of unique varieties. We need to be sure that we will have sufficient funding year after year after year. The Trust is now providing that security."

"The contents of our genebanks—some 1.5 million distinct samples—are the result of a 13,000-year experiment in the interaction between crops and environment, climate and culture," said Fowler. "If we are wise enough to conserve these collections, we will have a treasure chest of the very traits that crops used in the past when they successfully adapted to new conditions—the traits they will need again in the future to adapt as climates and environments change."
« Last Edit: June 18, 2009, 07:51:35 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2009, 07:53:15 am »











The Global Crop Diversity Trust



The mission of the Trust is to ensure the conservation and availability of crop diversity for food security worldwide. Although crop diversity is fundamental to fighting hunger and to the very future of agriculture, funding is unreliable and diversity is being lost. The Trust is the only organization working worldwide to solve this problem, and has already raised over $140 million. For further information, please visit: http://www.croptrust.org.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Adapted from materials provided by Burness Communications, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.
Email or share this story:| More Need to cite this story in your essay, paper, or report? Use one of the following formats:
 APA

 MLA Burness Communications (2008, September 18). Scientists Behind 'Doomsday Seed Vault' Ready World's Crops For Climate Change. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 18, 2009, from



http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2008/09/080917145518.htm
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2009, 07:57:19 am »










         Global Seed Vault Marks 1-year Anniversary With Four-ton Shipment Of Critical Food Crops






ScienceDaily
(Feb. 26, 2009)

— Four tons of seeds - almost 90,000 samples of hundreds of crop species - from food crop collections maintained by Canada, Ireland, Switzerland, USA, and three international agricultural research centers in Syria, Mexico and Colombia, were delivered today to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault as it celebrated its one-year anniversary.

The repository, located near the village of Longyearbyen on the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, has in one year amassed a collection of more than 400,000 unique seed samples – some 200 million seeds.

"The vault was opened last year to ensure that one day all of humanity's existing food crop varieties would be safely protected from any threat to agricultural production, natural or man made. It's amazing how far we have come toward accomplishing that goal," said Cary Fowler, Executive Director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, which operates the seed vault in partnership with the Norwegian government and the Nordic Genetic Resource Center in Sweden.

For example, in its first year of operation, the vault at Svalbard has so far received duplicates of nearly half of the crop samples maintained by the genebanks of the international agricultural research centers of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

These international genebanks are seen as the custodians of the crown jewels of crop diversity. This diversity has been instrumental in the breeding of new varieties responsible for the remarkable productivity gains made in global agriculture in recent decades, and in averting food crises when farm production has been threatened by natural disasters, plant diseases, and plant pests.

To mark the anniversary of the vault, experts on global warming and its effects on food production have gathered in Longyearbyen to discuss how climate change could pose a major threat to food production, and to examine crop diversity's role in averting crisis. They include the authors of a study published in the journal Science in January warning that by the end of this century the average temperatures during growing seasons in many regions will probably be higher than the most extreme heat recorded over the last 100 years. Crop diversity will be required by scientists to breed new varieties able to flourish in such dramatically different conditions.

"This means that the vital importance of crop diversity to our food supply, which inspired the creation of the seed vault, is neither remote nor theoretical but immediate and real," said David Battisti, a climate change expert at the University of Washington and one of the lead authors of the paper.

"When we see research indicating that global warming could diminish maize production by 30 percent in southern Africa in only 20 years' time, it shows that crop diversity is needed to adapt agriculture to climate change right now," added Frank Loy, former Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs and an advisor to President Obama's transition team on environment and climate change, who is also attending.

With its new acquisitions, the vault is now providing a secure second home for a third of humanity's most important crop varieties, and a level of security for crop diversity conservation that was not available until a year ago. More genebanks and countries are in the process of signing agreements and preparing seeds collections to deposit in the vault.

Seeds arriving for the vault anniversary include samples of 32 varieties of potatoes in addition to oat, wheat, barley, and native grass species from two of Ireland's national gene banks. Ireland's participation and its inclusion of potato varieties is particularly appropriate for an occasion celebrating crop diversity. It was a lack of diversity that is believed to have made Ireland's potato crop particularly vulnerable to the devastating blight of the mid-1800s that lead to the deaths of more than one million people.

In addition to Ireland's contribution, 3,800 samples of wheat and barley have come from Switzerland's national seed bank in Changins. The United States is sending 20,000 samples from the seed repository maintained by the federal Department of Agriculture that represents 361 crop species. They include samples of crop varieties that originally came from 151 countries and are now part of the U.S. collection.

Like all seeds coming to the vault, the samples arriving today are duplicates of seeds from other collections. The vault is intended to serve as a fail-safe backup should the original samples be lost or damaged or, more dramatically, to provide something of a Noah's ark for agriculture in the event of a global catastrophe.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Adapted from materials provided by Global Crop Diversity Trust, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.
Email or share this story:| More Need to cite this story in your essay, paper, or report? Use one of the following formats:
 APA

 MLA Global Crop Diversity Trust (2009, February 26). Global Seed Vault Marks 1-year Anniversary With Four-ton Shipment Of Critical Food Crops. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 18, 2009, from



 http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2009/02/090226082222.htm
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Janilee Wolff
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3511



« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2009, 11:15:15 am »

Awesome topic!
Report Spam   Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy