''Doomsday'' Seed Vault Opens Near North Pole

''Doomsday'' Seed Vault Opens Near North Pole
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Cary Fowler—executive director of the Rome-based Global Crop Diversity Fund and driving force behind the new Svalbard Global Seed Vault—holds foil-wrapped seeds inside the new Arctic facility on February 25, 2008.

Starting on February 26, packets like these will be stored on metal racks in three 32-by-88-foot (10-by-28-meter) rooms. There they are expected to be safe from catastrophes such as climate change, and wars—and ready to help future generations weather crop shortages and other disasters.

"Crop diversity will soon prove to be our most potent and indispensable resource for addressing climate change, water, and energy supply constraints, and for meeting the food needs of a growing population," Fowler told the Associated Press.

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—Photograph by John McConnico/AP
 
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