Seedbank on Svalbard threatened with flooding

This story could equally well have been placed under Science & Technology and Weather, but I will start it here.  Following artikel is translated from the conservative Danish morning paper 'Berlingske Tidende', which apparently picked up this story from The Guardian in the UK:

On the island Spitsbergen in Svalbard lies 'Svalbard Internatioanl Seed Vaults', a seed bank with seeds from almost one million different plant species.  It was established as a global safety net, to preserve species survival in case of natural catastrophies, climate change, disease or nuclear war should occur.

Now climate change is threatening the seed bank, as temperaures on Svalbard have been markedly higher than usual.  Last year was measured as the warmest (year on record), as temperatures on Svalbard have been above freezing (32F).

This has resulted in water (from melting permafrost) has poured into the 330' long tunnel, which leads into the actual seed bank.

'It was never considered in our calculations, that the permafrost would not be there, and that the weather would be so extreme in this fashion' says Hege Njaa Aschim, communications manager at the Norwegian construction authority Statsbygg to The Guardian.

It is not the seed bank itself that has been flooded, but it still has consequences.

'It was intended, that the should function without assistance from humans, but now we watch the seed bank 24/7' says Hege Njaa Aschim to The Guardian.

Norwegian authorities have stated to make channels in the tunnel, so the unwanted water can be led away, and pumps have been installed in the seed bank room.  Additionally, they have removed electrical installations, which have produced heat in the tunnel.

'We have to find solutions.  It is a great responsibility, and we take it very seriously.  We are doing this for the whole World' says Hege Njaa Aschim to The Guardian.

Now the question is, whether the temperature will continue to remain at this high level on Svalbard.  Ketil Isaksen from Norways Meteorological Institute says to The Guardian, that temperatures on Svalbard have risen very dramatically in the latest ??? (word indicating multiples of 10 years).  In the arctic, temperatures are rising quickly, but Isaksen stresses that they are rising fastest on Svalbard.

I'm surprised it was not designed with this scenario (melting permafrost) in mind. 

Well, the Danes have a few uncomplimentary words to describe the Norwegians.  

Knowing those, I am not terribly surprised.

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