Archive

Archive for February 29, 2012

After 4 Years, Checking Up on The Svalbard Global Seed Vault

February 29, 2012 Comments off

theatlantic.com

For its birthday, Svalbard will receive seeds from war-torn Syria and celebrate years of success preserving our inheritance from Neolithic times.

svalbardtop_615.jpg

The world’s agricultural hard drive, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, turns four years old today. The vault was a media sensation when it first opened in 2008, but it hasn’t been in the news much since. I figured it was time to check in and see how these first four years have gone. An awesome technology by any measure, the vault is a steely compound tunneled five hundred feet into an icy mountain in the Norwegian Arctic, just 600 miles from the North Pole. It is designed to last a thousand years, and to withstand a wide range of global disasters, including climate change, nuclear war, and even an asteroid strike. Over the past four years the vault has amassed some 740,000 seed samples and eventually it may house every crop seed ever used by a human being.

The vault stores duplicates of the holdings of local seed banks all over the world, insuring against seed loss in the event of a local or global catastrophe. It functions like Read more…

More Americans believe in climate change: poll

February 29, 2012 Comments off

rawstory.com

Ice Fjord of Ilulissat in Greenland via AFP

WASHINGTON — Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that climate change is real — the highest level in two years — as the public trusted its own observations of rising temperatures, a poll said Tuesday.

The growing acceptance of global warming comes despite fierce political division over the issue in the world’s largest economy, with proposals to mandate cuts on carbon emissions failing in Congress.

Sixty-two percent of Americans agree that there is solid evidence that the Earth’s average temperature has been getting warmer over the past four decades, according to the survey by the University of Michigan’s Gerald Ford School of Public Policy and the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion.

Twenty-six Read more…