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Doomsday Seed Vault Hits the One Million Mark


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The seed vault is designed to preserve valuable food crops

The most recent consignment to arrive at the facility has brought its total number of deposits up to 1,059,646.

Built in 2008 around 810 miles from the North Pole, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is an underground depository that preserves food crop seed samples in case of a global disaster.

Now, just in time for the vault's tenth anniversary, a consignment of 70,000 new crops has brought the total number of deposits stored at the facility to over one million.

Some of the new additions include the rather unusual Estonian onion potato and a type of barley traditionally used to brew Irish beer.

"Hitting the million mark is really significant," said Hannes Dempewolf, a senior scientist at Crop Trust. "Only a few years back I don't think we would have thought that we would get there."

Eventually, the total number of seed varieties stored at the vault could exceed two million.

"The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is an iconic reminder of the remarkable conservation effort that is taking place every day, around the world and around the clock - an effort to conserve the seeds of our food crops," said Crop Trust executive director Marie Haga.

Full article here : http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-43171939

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