The vault is now 10 years old, and the Norway government, which funds and manages the vault, announced that it's time for nearly $13 million in upgrades. Specifically, Norway plans to build a new concrete tunnel and a building to protect emergency power and refrigerating units. Norway says the vault is "built to stand the test of time." It's a long-term storage facility for the globe's stock of crop seeds, should the world's agriculture become threatened or imperiled by "war, terrorism and natural disasters." Seeds stored and organized in boxes in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.
In the vault final, gymnasts vault twice and the scores are averaged. Biles scored 15.900 on her first -- an Amanar -- with a short hop back. Biles is the first U.S. woman to win the Olympics on vault and the first to win three Olympic golds in a single Games in gymnastics. Of note, a 41-year-old took part in the vault final, Oksana Chusovitina of Uzbekistan, who was competing in her seventh Olympics.
Such language is understandable: Redniss quotes a 2008 statement from the vault's parent institutions holding that its contents would remain frozen for 200 years even in the event of "worst-case scenarios for global warming." Heavily reinforced as it is, it also seems like the sort of place that could survive more violent conflicts too--in the unlikely event that any battle found its way that far north. The project's progenitor, agriculturalist Cary Fowler, notes in the conclusion to his book Seeds on Ice that he's sometimes asked whether the facility could endure a nuclear blast. "My glib answer to such questions is that it depends on how big the bomb is," he writes. "Tellingly, no depositor, scientist, journalist, or politician who has ever gone down into the Seed Vault has emerged to question the safety of its contents."
At 3:30 p.m. on May 22, Bishop and his climbing partner reached the summit, dropped to the ground and wept. Then the team began to descend, and as night fell they realized they were unable to find their camp. In an Oct. 1963 story called "How We Climbed Everest," he wrote: "I stamp ponderously in the snow. The pain in my toes sharpens. Then, as it skirts the edges of agony, it dies in a merciful numbness.
Who says there's no good news? It just so happens that if all of humanity is wiped out in a nuclear holocaust, the people of Earth will leave behind a record of their existence in two "doomsday vaults" on the frozen island of Svalbard, halfway between Norway and the North Pole. Svalbard's first doomsday vault was built into the side of a mountain in 2008. Known as the Global Seed Vault, it stores duplicates of seed samples from across the globe. They're essentially backups, stored at half a degree below zero Fahrenheit.