Tag Archives: Svalbard Global Seed Vault

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES FOR SVALBARD FOR SATURDAY: UNIS cancels summer classes, ‘doomsday vault’ meets COVID-19, MOSAiC updates, an hour of Sunday is ‘cancelled’ and more

playingwithblocks

This story will be updated throughout the day. Sure Mark, no problem. Photo of Tarjei Våtvik and his kids, Emmett and Liam, playing with blocks “Svalbard-style” taken by their mother, M Daiane Alvarenga Våtvik.

As if Longyearbyen hasn’t lost enough jobs, things to do and everything else due to the coronavirus pandemic, now we’re losing an hour of tomorrow.

That’s not COVID-19’s fault, of course, because Father Time was going to start Daylight Savings Time here at 2 a.m. Sunday regardless of how old he’s getting since he seems to have an immunity thing to the virus that still has no official cases in Svalbard as of 1 p.m. Saturday. But it is worth keeping in mind if, say, you’re hoping to go a community snowball fight scheduled at 2 p.m. Sunday at a place to be announced presumably well before then.

So far it appears Svalbard is experiencing its third straight abnormally quiet weekend –and remember, while it might seem forever ago, Norway’s quarantine has only been in effect since two weeks old Fridays ago. But with local tourism and public officials increasingly conceding longer-term consequences such as the near-total loss of the summer cruise ship season, other entities such as The University Centre in Svalbard are announcing similar cancellations.

12 YEARS, 1 MILLION SEED SAMPLES: Svalbard Global Seed Vault celebrates birthday w/ largest-ever group of depositors and world leaders in first major event after costly upgrades

vaultdepositoverview022520

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault celebrated a huge repair job with a huge deposit of seeds on its 12th birthday Tuesday, as representatives from 36 genebanks on all seven continents and world leaders gathered at the so-called “ultimate failsafe” facility for a ceremony that resulting in the total collection surpassing one million seed samples.

As with many things involving the vault, it was a bipolar event as drastic hopes and concerns were raised about growing threats to the world’s food supplies, the vault’s role in potentially helping address them, the paradox of storing crops threatened by climate change in the place where change is happening faster than anywhere on Earth, and newly raised controversies about Norway’s sovereignty over Svalbard at time when the archipelago is considered one of the country’s top national security risks.

‘ARC’ DESIGNED FOR EXTRA, EXTRA PROTECTION: Conception of 50M-high visitors’ center for seed and data vaults unveiled

seedvaultarc

If you’re looking at the above photo and words such as “seed,” “protection,” “bone” and “arc” don’t stimulate thoughts of a proposed visitors’ center between Svalbard’s two “Doomsday” vaults (yes, there’s a second one that’s obscure), keep in mind the assurance “the finished product will certainly look different.”

IS ‘REOPENED’ SEED VAULT NOW READY FOR DOOMSDAY? Ribbon-cutting, new deposits celebrate completion of costly repairs after climate change exposes flaws in original design

vaultreopens

OK, now it’s ready for Armageddon, even if there’s a heavy rainstorm.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault on Monday was both a celebration and a remarkable statement of irony, since the world-renowned facility officially opened more than 11 years ago. But the so-called ultimate safeguard for the planet’s crops didn’t even make it through its first decade before major design flaws were exposed by climate change impacts such as thawing permafrost and unseasonably heavy rain, resulting in lengthy repairs costing nearly triple the vault’s original construction price.

MASSIVE ‘DOOMSDAY’ IMPACT: Svalbard seed vault named 10th most-influential project of past 50 years, topping Google, Harry Potter, Disney World and the International Space Station

seeddeposit

The decade-old “Doomsday Vault,” despite its infamous leakage due to major design flaws and “use only in case of Armageddon” intent, has had more global impact than far better-known breakthroughs such as Google, Star Wars, the iPod, Paris Fashion Week, Boeing 747 and the International Space Station, according to a group ranking the 50 most influential projects of the past 50 years.

Svalbard Daily Planet for the week of Aug. 4-10, 2019

dailyplanetlogo

Ukraine joins non-Arctic nations seeking a strong presence in Svalbard to Russia’s outrage, Svalbard Bryggeri debuts a seriously watered-down beverage, why the seed vault isn’t an ideal place to go bananas and other recent headlines about Svalbard from the global mainstream media.

Doom’s day: Massive entrance overhaul at even higher price nearly done for seed vault’s ‘real’ 10th anniversary

vaultlights

Last year virtually everybody was here celebrating the 10-year existence (widely mislabeled as the 10th anniversary) of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, gathering at an entrance so badly designed it was undergoing an upgrade more than two times as expensive as the original cost of the entire facility.

This year virtually nobody is here for the true 10th anniversary of the vault (remember, the first anniversary is one year after it opened), which occurs shortly before the upgrades are tested to to ensure the vault really is worthy of its “doomsday” moniker.

CATASTROPHIC COSTS: 250 homes in Longyearbyen to be demolished, 220M kr. for new housing and safeguards due to climate change

climatecosts

Forget the “alarmist” predictions about climate change impacts. During a year of actual catastrophes globally, here is Longyearbyen’s: 1) There are currently about 1,100 households in Longyearbyen. 2) about 250 residences are scheduled for demolition due to avalanche exposure, softening permafrost and other climate change factors.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of September 4, 2018

vaultrepair1

A unique “freezing wall” is protecting the seed vault during its reconstruction, demolition of about 150 structures in avalanche-prone areas is scheduled to begin next fall and a polar bear disrupts the plans of an annual youth camp.

Massive upgrade or mishap? 100M kroner overhaul proposed on seed vault’s 10th birthday – nearly triple original cost of ‘fix’

vaultupgrade100m
Those jokes about the so-called “flooding” of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault are no longer a laughing matter, as Norway’s government is “celebrating” the facility’s 10th birthday by proposing 100 million kroner in upgrades – nearly triple the originally projected cost of needed repairs and more than twice the 45 million kroner it cost to build the vault.