The arctic seed bank that was going to save us all is flooding


Originally published at:


I think we should put a system of seed banks at various inaccessible places around the world so that in the post-apocalyptic future Tolkien rip-off quests will have a reason to take place.


Ummm yea, That flooding thing Jason… Not really a big deal:


Oh good, global warming isn’t real!


Nah - the Tolkien estate will still be there, pushing for a copyright extension and demanding the right to veto all quests on the grounds of IP infringement.
Given the antics of the Tolkien estate I am surprised nobody has evaluated Tolkien spinning in his grave as a renewable power source. Just attach a permanent magnet and surround with suitable coils.


There’s no doubt that global warming is as real as this article title was a bit click-baity :slight_smile:

Am definitely less worried about the seed bank after reading the article @GrymRpr linked


“Flooding is probably not quite the right word to use in this case,” says Cary Fowler, who helped create the seed vault. “In my experience, there’s been water intrusion at the front of the tunnel every single year.”

Water intrusion is such a lovely euphemism!


The source for that piece is a person who hasn’t seen the reported flooding and is unconcerned based on prior years experience.

Bill Frist was also a doctor.


Building a vault on an island in the ocean close to sea level that isn’t flood proof? Sounds like someone needs to get a refund from the designer 'cause that’s an oversight I’d characterize as gross negligence.


‘Still worried? Maybe this will help you exhale: “We did this calculation; if all the ice in the world melted—Greenland, Arctic, Antarctic, everything—and then we had the world’s largest recorded tsunami right in front of the seed vault. So, very high sea levels and the worlds largest Tsunami. What would happen to the seed vault?” Fowler says. “We found that the seed vault was somewhere between a five and seven story building above that point. It might not help the road leading up to the seed vault, but the seeds themselves would be ok."’

" Its being 130 metres (430 ft) above sea level will keep the site dry even if the ice caps melt.[15]"

There’s also a sort of bridge over a ditch at the entrance:

But when the mountainside looks like this most of the year and then that snow converts to water, you’re easily going to have some “water intrusion” in an unmanned installation:


Good news has been banned for the foreseeable future.


Hubris is a dish best served cold.


Best not to call them leaks, Mr. President. We prefer the term fluid extrusions, more obfuscatory that way.


Can I ask a totally unrelated question? I read my RSS feeds using Feedly on my Android phone. Sometimes, but not always, when I open the full article in chrome it brings up the mobile version of the site which doesn’t have an option to see comments. Selecting the “request desktop version” doesn’t do anything. It’s been happening for quite a while. Anyone know how to fix it?

Mobile version doesn't have an option to see comments, "request desktop version" doesn't do anything

The thing is, areas that have substantial ice right now - that is, areas with glaciers near coasts- are going to see the sea level fall when the ice melts because the gravitational pull of the ice mass is causing water to mound up in those (polar) regions right now. When the glaciers melt, the mass is gone and water levels drop. (Which also means the water is going to go to temperate areas, beyond what you’d expect for an “x centimeter global increase in sea level” - sea level rise isn’t evenly distributed.)


Just be careful, boss monsters spawn in places like that.



I did not know about that, but I must also point out that was very different, local circumstances. There the falling rock caused the tsunami to form in a bay:

I’m not saying it can’t happen where the seed vault is, but seems very unlikely. Pretty hard to guard against all possible disasters when you’re building for the ages.


My, That was a strange reaction…
Has Popular Science taken on the position that global warming is some fake bs?

Lets see.


The botanists dug too greedily, and too deep.