More from the Svalbard Archipelago, Norway

This is slightly older news, but I’ve realised that the recently opened Doomsday Global Seed Vault which several folks have been banging on about is in the same general area as the monster-sized pliosaur find: the Svalbard Archipelago!

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The Doomsday vault is a terrific idea. Similar to the Kew Millenium Seed Bank opened in London in 2000, its purpose is to safeguard existing plant genetic diversity against accidental loss or mismanagement.

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The non-scientific media have been quick to position this as a doomsday scenario – as a result of nuclear war or cosmic cataclysm – and commentators have made connections with increasingly popular genetically modified cropping. However, this facility is far more likely to act as insurance against losing species of plants in a more insidious way: by people’s apathy about conservation.

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