If you’ve been keeping up the slew of dark headlines in the news this week, then you may have seen some stories about how the Svalbard Global “Doomsday” Seed Vault is doomed, or not, according to which story you read.
There were some alarmist headlines, but most of the stories were less drastic, while still pointing out the serious nature of what happened — here are a few examples.
Melting Arctic Ice Jeopardizes Humanity’s Plant Backup Plan (Grant Suneson, Newsy)
Don’t panic, humanity’s ‘doomsday’ seed vault is probably still safe (Amy B Wang, Washington Post)
Turns out the Svalbard seed vault is probably fine: Deep breaths. (Mary Beth Griggs, Popular Science)
Doomsday Seed Vault to Get Upgrade After Flooding Incident (Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor)
This video from Newsy explains what happened.
The video gives you a glimpse inside the vault that is the focus of all the fuss, and it is a pretty interesting place. Here is a 6 minute long 360° YouTube Video about the vault released in September, 2016.
This is a 360° YouTube video — press and hold to explore!
There is also an interactive tour provided by the Crop Trust (the organization behind the Svalbard Global Seed Vault).
Interactive visit to Svalbard Global Seed Vault (Crop Trust)
So, while it isn’t great news that the vault needs to be fixed and tended by humans, we aren’t doomed, right?
Well, not so fast. There have been some other disturbing headlines lately. For example, back in April there was another serious “melting” incident.
Here are some further stories about what happened.
Unique Canadian ice core collection suffers catastrophic meltdown (Colette Derworiz, AAAS Science Magazine)
An Ice Scientist’s Worst Nightmare (Tatiana Schlossberg, New York Times)
While the ice core collection’s melting was not due to global warming, it had an impact on our ability to compare today’s climate to that of the past.
If that’s not disturbing enough, did you hear that Antarctica is starting to go green? Here’s a video and some stories about that that came out this week.
Again, here are some further stories about the situation.
Thanks to global warming, Antarctica is beginning to turn green (Chris Mooney, Washington Post)
Antarctic has seen widespread change in last 50 years, moss study reveals (Matt Amesbury, AAAS Eureka Alert)
The more you know, the more distressing the news is getting. Here is a 10 year old, but still useful video from NASA about the cyrosphere related issues at stake.
NASA also hosts a site with Cryospheric Animations.
The last few months have brought news that the Larsen Ice Shelf is continuing to disintegrate (NASA, Wikipedia). Here is another video from Newsy about this development, and we will almost certainly hear much more about this in the near future.
Then to top it all off, this headline came across my screen yesterday afternoon, and in case you can’t guess, actually helped to inspire this post!
Here’s a list of the agencies and programs Trump’s budget would defund entirely (Matt Rocheleau, Boston Globe)