Arctic 'Doomsday' vault stronghold for world’s seeds flooded after permafrost melts

By Chris Baynes

The doors of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, built to preserve humanity's food sources in the event of man-made or natural disasters, closed in 2008 and were not expected to be opened for many generations.


The Arctic stronghold known as the “Doomsday Vault”, which was designed to protect the world’s most precious seeds from global catastrophe, has been flooded by melting ice. 

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, built to preserve humanity’s food sources in the event of man-made or natural disasters, was breached after rising temperatures sent water gushing through its entrance tunnel. 


By Madeline Ostrander 

The wood and fossil fuels we burn affect extreme warming in the Arctic, and solutions begin with understanding how and how much. 

Editor’s note: Reporting for this story was supported by a grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism.

Warm Arctic Fuels Second-Warmest April on Record


An unusually warm Arctic spring fueled the second-hottest April on record globally, with global warming and unusual weather conspiring to shrink sea ice and push up polar temperatures. 

April temperatures were 1.5°F (0.9°C) warmer worldwide than the 1950 to 1980 average, NASA data released Mondayshowed, extending to three a string of hot months in which temperatures were surpassed just once in history. April temperatures were higher only in 2016.

First Russian Arctic clean-up expedition sails for Franz Josef Land

Russian Arctic National Park's website has announced the departure from Arkhangelsk on May 14 of the first Arctic clean-up expedition in 2017. The ship Andrei Osipov set sail for one of the Franz Josef Land Archipelago's most difficult to reach islands, Graham Bell, where expeditions to clean up past environmental damage already took place in 2013 and 2015.

"This summer, clean-up work on Graham Bell will take place on two sites on the island's north — Matusevich Bay, and Cape Aerosyomka. The expedition members will collect around 5,000 tons of industrial waste, scrap metal — the remains of transport and caterpillar track vehicles, and barrels", the announcement reads.

Work on the island will continue until October. General director of the sub-contractor Arctic Consulting Service Sergei Kamyshanov said that the first lot of collected waste, around 2,500 tons, will be brought back to the mainland in July.

As Russia marks Year of the Environment, the clean-up effort in the Arctic has resumed after a year-long hiatus. Clean-up work will take place on four of the archipelago's islands — Hooker, Heiss, Alexandra Land, and Graham Bell. The total cost is around 600 million rubles.

Arctic nations strike down research roadblocks

By Hannah Hoag

Binding pact aims to ease access to field sites and shipment of samples across national borders.

Researchers working in the Arctic will face less red tape, under an agreement signed by representatives of the eight Arctic nations at a meeting in Fairbanks, Alaska, on 11 May.

Step inside the Arctic World Vault

By Komando Staff,

With all the news about hackers and cybercrime, do you sometimes wonder if there’s any place where data is safe? Well, there is. And it’s in a place so cold and heavily secured, the company behind this storage facility guarantees that data stored there is safe from things like natural disasters and will be for hundreds of years.

It's called the Arctic World Vault, and it’s located somewhere you'd never expect. The average high temperature is 23 degrees and the average low is 13! Brrrr….

So, who would want to live in a place like this? It may not be the ideal place for building a home and raising a family, but it’s a great place to store seeds from crops and sensitive digital data in vaults. The place I’m referring to is a group of Norwegian Islands about 620 miles from the North Pole.