The U.S. Antarctic research program is another casualty of the government shutdown, and scientists are fuming.
The development would scrap an entire season of research for some scientists. It "makes the blood boil," says Ross Powell, lead scientist for the WISSARD drilling expedition. He told Live Science that $5 million in research investment could go down the drain.
The National Science Foundation made the announcement Tuesday, recalling scientists and staff from Antarctica and placing the U.S. program in "caretaker status." Minimal staff will be maintained at primary research facilities, including the McMurdo, Amundsen-Scott and Palmer stations, but "all field and research activities not essential to human safety and preservation of property will be suspended."
The NSF noted that, although it would aim to restore the summer field research when possible, some activities just can't be restarted once "seasonally dependent windows" for research have passed.