Global Seed Vault gets upgrade after flooding scare

The repository of the world's seeds is getting an upgrade after it experienced a flooding scare in May caused by global warming.

The Global Seed Vault in Svalbard, Norway was designed to be an impregnable arctic stronghold that would safeguard plant genealogy for the future, according to the Guardian.

But rising temperatures have led to melting permafrost and heavy rain, causing flooding in the entryway. According to CNN, water gushed 15 meters into the front tunnel, where it then froze.

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Svalbard Global Seed Vault

A general view of the entrance of the international gene bank Svalbard Global Seed Vault (SGSV), outside Longyearbyen on Spitsbergen, Norway, on February 29, 2016. 

(JUNGE, HEIKO/AFP/Getty Images)

Journalists and cameramen walk under a gust of cold wind near the entrance of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault that was officially opened near Longyearbyen on February 26, 2008. A vault carved into the Arctic permafrost and filled with samples of the world's most important seeds was inaugurated Tuesday, providing a Noah's Ark of food crops in the event of a global catastrophe.

(Larsen, Hakon Mosvold/AFP/Getty Images)

Entrance to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, largest seed bank in the world near Longyearbyen on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen.

(Photo by: Arterra/UIG via Getty Images)

A man acrries one of the newly arrived boxes containing seeds from Japan and USA into the international gene bank Svalbard Global Seed Vault (SGSV), outside Longyearbyen on Spitsbergen, Norway, on March 1, 2016.

(JUNGE, HEIKO/AFP/Getty Images)

This photo taken on September 2, 2009 in Longyearbyen, Norway, shows a vault carved into the Arctic permafrost filled with samples of the world's most important seeds in case food crops are wiped out by a catastrophe. UN chief Ban Ki-moon toured the facility today, as he urged world leaders to act now to halt global warming. Aimed at safeguarding biodiversity in the face of climate change, wars and other natural and man-made disasters, the seed bank has the capacity to hold up to 4.5 million batches of seeds, or twice the number of crop varieties believed to exist in the world today.

(JACQUELINE PIETSCH/AFP/Getty Images)

Workers carry boxes of seeds into the Svalbard Global Seed Vault after its official opening on February 26, 2008 in Longyearbyen. The Global Seed Vault has been built in a mountainside cavern on the island of Svalbard, around 1000 km from the North Pole, to store the world's crop seeds in case of a disaster.

(DANIEL SANNUM LAUTEN/AFP/Getty Images)

This photo taken on September 2, 2009 in Longyearbyen, Norway, shows a vault carved into the Arctic permafrost filled with samples of the world's most important seeds in case food crops are wiped out by a catastrophe. UN chief Ban Ki-moon toured the facility today, as he urged world leaders to act now to halt global warming. Aimed at safeguarding biodiversity in the face of climate change, wars and other natural and man-made disasters, the seed bank has the capacity to hold up to 4.5 million batches of seeds, or twice the number of crop varieties believed to exist in the world today.

(JACQUELINE PIETSCH/AFP/Getty Images)

One of the newly arrived boxes containing seeds from Japan and the U.S. is carried into the international gene bank Svalbard Global Seed Vault (SGSV) outside Longyearbyen on Spitsbergen, Norway, March 1, 2016. REUTERS/Heiko Junge/NTB Scanpix ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. NORWAY OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN NORWAY.
Entrance to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, largest seed bank in the world near Longyearbyen on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen. (Photo by: Arterra/UIG via Getty Images)
A man acrries one of the newly arrived boxes containing seeds from Japan and USA into the international gene bank Svalbard Global Seed Vault (SGSV), outside Longyearbyen on Spitsbergen, Norway, on March 1, 2016. / AFP / NTB Scanpix / Junge, Heiko / Norway OUT (Photo credit should read JUNGE, HEIKO/AFP/Getty Images)
A vehicle passes a polar bear sign notifing motorists of their presence outside the arctic town of Longyearbyen, on February 25, 2008 in Norway. A Global Seed Vault has been carved into the permafrost of a remote Arctic mountain on the island of Svalbard, around 1000 km from the North Pole, to store the world's crop seeds in case of a disaster. The official opening will take place on February 26. AFP PHOTO / DANIEL SANNUM LAUTEN (Photo credit should read DANIEL SANNUM LAUTEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Snow blows off the Svalbard Global Seed Vault as photographers picture it before being inaugurated at sunrise on February 26, 2008 in Longyearbyen. The Global Seed Vault has been built in a mountainside cavern on the island of Svalbard, around 1000 km from the North Pole, to store the world's crop seeds in case of a disaster. AFP PHOTO / DANIEL SANNUM LAUTEN (Photo credit should read DANIEL SANNUM LAUTEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Snow blows off the Svalbard Global Seed Vault before its official inauguration at sunrise on February 26, 2008 in Longyearbyen. The Global Seed Vault has been built in a mountainside cavern on the island of Svalbard, around 1000 km from the North Pole, to store the world's crop seeds in case of a disaster. AFP PHOTO / DANIEL SANNUM LAUTEN (Photo credit should read DANIEL SANNUM LAUTEN/AFP/Getty Images)
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The ice has since been hacked out.The seeds were fortunately not affected by the meltwater and remain safely frozen in the minus 18-degree storage facility.

Precautions being taken in the facility include removing heat sources, such as a power transformer, from the tunnel. Drainage ditches will be dug around the mountainside, and the tunnel walls will be waterproofed for extra protection.

Vault managers are now monitoring the facility 24 hours a day, as they continue to minimize risks and take measures to ensure the seed bank will be able to operate without human help in the near future.

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