Norway to Invest Millions to Improve Arctic Seed Vault
Norway has announced it will spend 100 million Norwegian crowns, or $13 million, to make improvements to a special seed vault in the Arctic.
The Norwegian government built the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in 2008 to store seed samples of the world's crops and plants. The vault serves as a natural deep freeze, and is meant to protect important genetic material in case of a major man-made or natural disaster.
It holds seed varieties of crops from around the world, including corn, rice and grains. The vault received its one-millionth seed sample on February 26, its 10th anniversary. It has the ability to hold about 2.5 billion seeds in total.
The vault is located on an island about 1,000 kilometers from the North Pole. The samples are buried deep below a mountain.
Svalbard was chosen as the site of the seed bank, in part, because of the area's permafrost – a thick layer of soil that stays frozen throughout the year. It makes for excellent underground cold storage.
But in late 2016, the permafrost began to unexpectedly melt. This caused water to flow into the entrance of the vault tunnel. Officials said the seeds were never in danger. However, the event raised concerns about the need to better protect the samples.
Norway's Agriculture Ministry said improvements to the vault will include a new entry tunnel. They also include construction of a service building for emergency power and cooling units and electrical equipment that might send heat through the tunnel.
Jon Georg Dale is Norway's minister of agriculture and food. He announced the plans. He said they will help the vault continue to be a secure storage area. "It is a great and important task to safeguard all the genetic material that is crucial to global food security," he said.
The Svalbard vault acts as a backup to many of the world's seed banks. In 2015, researchers took out seeds from the vault to help build seed collections in Lebanon and Morocco. Those sites were set up to protect materials from an important seed bank in Aleppo, Syria, which was damaged by violence from the country's civil war.
The seeds were re-grown and returned to the Svalbard vault last year.
Dale said such efforts show "that the seed vault is a worldwide insurance for food supply for future generations."
I'm -Pete Musto.
1.serves as 担任；作为
He serves as a clerk in a bank.
2.civil war 内战
The years of civil war have dehumanized all of us.
3.took out 取出
He took out a handkerchief and blew his nose.
4.food supply 食物供应
The increase in population necessitates a greater food supply.
5.Officials said the seeds were never in danger.
in danger 处于危险
Your life is in danger.
He was in danger of making a real cock-up of this.
6.Svalbard was chosen as the site of the seed bank, in part, because of the area's permafrost – a thick layer of soil that stays frozen throughout the year.
in part 某种程度上；部分原因
In part this attitude was due to fear of trade union and employee reactions.
In part that's because industry is smack in the middle of the city.
2008年，挪威政府建立了“斯瓦尔巴全球种子库”，目的是储存全球农作物和植物的种子样本 。作为天然的深冻冷库，该种子库能在遭遇重大人为或自然灾害时保护重要的遗传物质 。
它储存了全球各地农作物的种子品种，包括玉米、水稻和谷物 。2月26日，即十周年纪念日当天，该种子库收到第100万个种子样本 。该种子库能够储存25亿份种子样本 。
该种子库位于距北极地区约1000公里的岛屿上 。这些种子样本皆储存在一座大山深处 。
斯瓦尔巴群岛当选为种子库所在地，一部分是因为该地区的永久冻土层——一年四季都处于冰冻状态中的厚厚的土壤 。这为低温储藏提供了有利条件 。
然而2016年，冻土层开始意外解冻，这导致水流进入种子库的通道入口 。有关官员表示，种子尚无危险 。不过，该事件引发公众对需要更好地保护种子样本的担忧 。
乔恩·格奥尔格·戴尔（Jon Georg Dale）是挪威农业与食品部部长 。他宣布了这些升级计划 。他表示，将帮助种子库继续成为安全的存储区域 。他说，“保护攸关全球粮食安全的所有遗传物质是一项伟大而又重要的任务 。”
斯瓦尔巴种子库是全球多个种子库的“后备军” 。2015年，研究人员从该库中取出种子在黎巴嫩和摩洛哥建立了种子库 。这些种子库是为了保护叙利亚阿勒颇一处重要种子库的种子，该地的种子库在叙利亚内战中被暴力摧毁 。