In 2013, Facebook open a huge new datacentre near the town of Luleå in northern Sweden. A second followed in 2014, and plans for a third were announced in May 2018.
The global nature of the internet, and the electronic transfer of data, means that this facility does not have to be in any particular location.
The centres handle data processing from Europe, the Middle East and Africa and also house an enormous data storage facility. So it’s likely that your Facebook account has been frozen!
- Read a Guardian article providing images and further information about Facebook’s datacentres in Luleå.
Other recent developments
The Global Seed Vault
The Global Seed Vault, located in the permafrost of Svalbard, 1300 km north of the Arctic Circle. The vault provides long term storage for over 1 million seed samples from across the world, including essential food crops such as wheat, rice and beans, with the aim of safeguarding future global food security.
The vault was started by conservationist Cary Fowler in association with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research and functions to preserve a wide variety of plant seeds in an underground cavern. The seeds are duplicate samples of seeds held in gene banks worldwide. The seed vault is an attempt to provide insurance against the loss of seeds in genebanks, as well as a refuge for seeds in the case of large-scale regional or global crises.
- Explore each of these developments using the links provided and your own research. What are the social, economic and environmental implications of each for the Arctic region – and globally? Remember that the impacts can be both positive and negative.