In the Svalbard islands, floating halfway between Greenland and Norway in the Arctic ocean, researchers have begun construction of a vault designed to house seeds of all known varieties of the world’s crops, in the event of global catastrophe — a Noah’s Ark for the plant world.
The vault’s purpose is to ensure survival of crop diversity in the event of plant epidemics, nuclear war, natural disasters or climate change; and to offer the world a chance to restart growth of food crops that may have been wiped out. At temperatures of minus 18C (minus 0.4F), the seeds could last hundreds, even thousands, of years. Even if all cooling systems failed … the temperature in the frozen mountain would never rise above freezing …
The vault is eventually expected to house some three million seeds. And in case any smart-alec seed thieves get bright ideas, the place is crawling with polar bears.
Question: If nobody knows where the Svalbard islands are now, how the heck do we expect the few Mad Max humans who survive to figure out where they are, or how to get there? Oh, wait – Svalbardians will probably be the only survivors anyway, so they’ll be all set.