3 Ridiculously Cool Polar Vaults Safeguarding Our Future
We are faced with many potential disasters in today’s world. The threat of nuclear war and the continued onset of climate change are just two of the issues we face, both of which could have catastrophic consequences for future generations. And whilst the world’s scientists and politicians attempt to find ways of reducing the chances of this happening, measures are also being put in place to protect vital aspects of our lives should the worst case scenario occur.
Here are three polar storage facilities that have been set up to protect our future.
The World Arctic Archive
Opened just last month, this is the most recent vault on our list and can be found in Svalbard – an archipelago that belongs to Norway. Officially organised by the Norwegian government, the World Arctic Archive will store digital data relating to our planet’s most important texts, movies, songs and other media.
Rather than using hard drives, the information will be stored via state-of-the-art film technology that has been pioneered by a company called Piql. This format cannot be altered once it has been written (safeguarding it from cyber attacks) and will last more than 1,000 years. Nations around the world have been sending over data which they feel is important enough to be preserved for the future inside this abandoned mine shaft.
The Snow Cave at the Concordia Research Station
The Concordia Research Station is a French and Italian operated facility in Antarctica which now holds important information about climate change around the world. In 2015, a snow cave was excavated here so that it could house ice samples from some of the planet’s most at-risk glaciers. With temperatures heating up, glaciers and ice capsules at higher altitudes are starting to melt and there is a worry that some of these will be lost forever.
Therefore, to ensure they stick around for the future, samples from glaciers such as the Col du Dome in the Alps and Mount Illimani in the Bolivian Andes and being transported to Antarctica where they can be kept at a constant temperature of -50c. Scientists are extracting the ice using specialist drills that cut into the glacier and remove a cylindrical core.
The need to preserve these natural features is driven by the fact that they hold important data about the history of our planet. Small bubbles trapped between the layers of each glacier can tell us about the atmosphere of Earth during the period they were created. This is particularly important in studying the effects of climate change and gives scientists a vital window into the past.
The Global Seed Vault
The Global Seed Vault was established in 2008 and is located very close to the World Arctic Archive, in Arctic Norway. As climate change, nuclear war and other potential disasters continue to loom, the decision was made to preserve a large percentage of the Earth’s crops should we need them to feed people following the apocalypse.
Incidentally, the location for both of these Arctic storage facilities was chosen because it is considered a safe, demilitarised zone thanks to the Svalbard Treaty. The permafrost created under the surface here will also keep everything safe from rising temperatures or rapid climate change caused by a meteor strike or something similar.
Nations from around the world have sent seeds for their most important crops to the Global Seed Vault including things like potatoes, rice, lettuce and herbs. Following a recent delivery in February, there are now over 900,000 seeds being stored here. If you think that this sounds a lot, consider that there is actually room for around 2.5 billion seeds, protecting our most valuable food staples.
Although you won’t get to look inside any of these important repositories, we can take you to the regions in which they’re found. Our Arctic and Antarctic cruises allow you to adventure to these remote places and a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Call us for free on 0808 301 8309 for more details.