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The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is seen Monday Feb. 25, 2008 in Longyearbyen, Norway. A "doomsday" vault built to withstand an earthquake or nuclear strike is ready to open deep in the permafrost of an Arctic mountain, where it will protect millions of agriculture seeds from man-made and natural disasters. The vault is to be officially inaugurated on Tuesday, less than year after crews started drilling in Norway's Svalbard archipelago, about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) from the North Pole. The vault has the capacity to store 4.5 million seed samples from around the globe, shielding them from climate change, wars, natural disasters and other threats. (AP Photo/John McConnico)

The world's seed vault has been jeopardized by warm temperatures in the Arctic


The world's impregnable deep-freeze vault aimed at protecting precious seeds from global doom such as war and natural disaster has been breached after extraordinarily warm temperatures sent water gushing into the entrance of the tunnel, the Guardian reported. 

The "Global Seed Vault," which is buried in a mountain in the Arctic circle, contains roughly a million packets of seeds, including important food crops. 

Warm temperatures threaten the "Global Seed Vault"

Soaring temperatures in the region led to melting and heavy rain. This time, the water froze before reaching the seeds, so nothing was damaged. However, the breach did raise doubt in the vault's ability to survive increasingly warm temperatures. 

Hege Njaa Aschim, a Norwegian government official, which owns the vault, said, “It was supposed to [operate] without the help of humans, but now we are watching the seed vault 24 hours a day. We must see what we can do to minimize all the risks and make sure the seed bank can take care of itself.”

“The question is whether this is just happening now, or will it escalate?” he added.

As a result of the recently discovered vulnerability, vault managers are taking precautions, including major work to waterproof the 100m-long tunnel as well as digging trenches to channel meltwater away. 

“We have to find solutions. It is a big responsibility and we take it very seriously," he said. "We are doing this for the world.”

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