Norway has invested an additional $13 million into its doomsday seed vault, which carries about a million different crop varieties that will help grow life after the end of the world, USA Today reported.
The government called for the update after a permafrost thaw in 2016 led to some water leaking into the vault's building located on a remote island of Svalbard, an archipelago near the Arctic Circle. No seeds were damaged from the leaks, according to USA Today.
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault works as a backup to the world’s gene banks in case of natural disasters, which could range from nuclear war to global warming, according to Reuters.
The new investment would help with “construction of a new, concrete-built access tunnel, as well as a service building to house emergency power and refrigerating units and other electrical equipment," according to a statement from Norway’s Ministry of Agriculture and Food.
According to USA Today, the vault is expected to survive nuclear booms and earthquakes, so the government wanted to repair it just in case.
In addition to repairs, BBC reported that 700,000 new seed crops will be added to the storage facility this week, including ones for the Estonian onion potato, among others.
The vault opens about twice a year for deposits. This will raise the total amount of seeds to more than 1 million total.
"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," Marie Haga, executive director of the Crop Trust, told BBC. "Safeguarding such a huge range of seeds means scientists will have the best chance of developing nutritious and climate-resilient crops that can ensure future generations don't just survive, but thrive."
In 2015, Norway sent nearly 116,000 seeds from the vault to create seed banks in Morocco and Lebanon after the Middle East’s regional seed back in Aleppo, Syria, was damaged from the country’s ongoing war, according to Futurism.2 comments on this story
Two years later, the regional seed bank sent back seeds that came from the plants that grew from the original seeds.
“This demonstrates that the seed vault is a worldwide insurance for food supply for future generations,” said Jon Georg Dale, Norway's minister of agriculture and food, according to Reuters.
According to The Verge, the seed vault isn’t alone in terms of end-of-the-world storage. The World Data archive, which holds storage for film, digital media and all data, also sits on Svalbard.
Governments of Brazil, Mexico and Norway have already made deposits into the archive.