The EarthArk Project is a way to save small samples of everything on Earth in the super deep freeze Antarctica station. The subsurface temperature of some places in Antarctica remains at minus 50°C, which is so low that no biological activity takes place and many seeds and other living things will maintain viability permanently. Tropically adapted plants burst their cell walls and cannot be revived after freezing, but their DNA can be stored and recovered after freezing. The reason for freezing these things is so the species or anything else may be recovered at some time in the distant future. Global warming may or may not continue into the distant future, but we can be certain that in the long run the climate will change and we should be prepared for that eventuality. It is well established that the Arctic Ocean is presently warming and may soon be ice-free in the summer, but Antarctica is isolated by the circumpolar ocean current and it is a totally different situation. The ice is two miles thick and it is very cold, also there are high mountains in the interior, like Mt. Vinson where the EarthArk is destined to be located, which will remain very cold no matter what people do, or what happens to the climate or even the ice for a very, very long time.
The monetary cost to humanity for creating this permanent depot of essential items is very small if spread over all humanity’s seven billion people. A dollar per person would create an excellent station, and it would be a one-time expense. The very low temperatures would assure nothing further would ever need to be done. It is a self-sustaining deep freeze and once securely in place it doesn’t do anything. It simply sits and waits until the sample materials stored within it are needed to reconstitute some portion of the Earth that has lost its diversity.
The EarthArk would be intentionally located in a very remote place to assure that no animals would ever go there, or humans either without very specific intentions. This is an Earth-wide deep freeze for restoring habitats for all humanity and for the Earth itself.
The EarthArk would be made of standard shipping containers each pre-packed at some local location before being transported to Antarctica. Entire ecological systems could be created out of each individual container. Biological systems are known to be a very complex assembly of many different living things and many systems may not function well or at all without the interplay of some undiscovered organisms. Therefore, it is important to collect a great diversity of small samples of the soil at various depths at various times of the year to capture a complete system of every locality.
To get a basic EarthArk into position quickly the first samples would be made as general as possible, but after several seasons of collecting and once the first EarthArk was safely in place, much more detailed collections could be made and after a few years samples of every square kilometer of Earth could be stored. This ultimately is a mega project, but the basic EarthArk, and the most important one, can be done as high school field projects where students from schools around the world go out locally and collect samples of everything available, and bring them to school where they are packaged and shipped to some local collection agency to be shipped to Antarctica. Remarkably little money would be needed for this part of the project because it would all be small-scale volunteer collecting. The motivation would be to save their local habitat.
The containers themselves can be purchased used, for little expense. It is the transporting of the containers to Antarctica and from the shore station to the heights of the mountain which would be expensive and difficult. But even this might not be too bad because even taking the materials halfway up the mountain would maintain much of the viability, and as resources became available the containers could be moved to their final locations near the top of Mt. Vinson.
Many people leave their money to worthy causes in their wills, and others support worthy projects because they need to be supported and surely saving the planet is a worthy cause. When the students who participated in the project when young grew older they would be likely to support it financially, thus over the years The EarthArk Project would become a reality and the Earth would have a chance to recover after even the worst imaginable disasters occurred. Some philanthropists would feel very good about having a shipping container with their name associated with this project to protect their distant future.
The EarthArk Project will secure your personal remembrance and memorial.