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Fears for science amid US shutdown

RATE THIS! +73
Posted in Science on 11th Oct, 2013 01:40 AM by AlexMuller

American scientists are scrambling to preserve vital research programmes amid the US government funding shutdown. Key projects investigating ice loss in Antarctica are among those at risk as plans for fieldwork are stalled.

 
If the expeditions do not go ahead, it could jeopardise investigations that have gathered data over decades.
 
Medical research, including studies of degenerative disease, is also held up as government-employed scientists have been sent home.
 
The case of the National Science Foundation is typical of many US funding bodies - it has closed its front door and no-one is answering calls or emails. Websites of the likes of Nasa are redirecting to holding pages.
 
The chief concern among scientists is that long-running projects monitoring change could now be harmed by a sudden break in the flow of data.
 
One major initiative known as IceBridge - which uses aircraft to study the edges of the ice-sheet in West Antarctica, and is regarded as crucial for understanding future sea-level rise - has been delayed by two weeks already.
 
The planes are fitted with laser and radar systems to measure the height of the ice sheet as it approaches the coast - and gathering annual data is essential for researchers trying to understand patterns of change.
 
The plan for the approaching field season in Antarctica was to operate the plane from landing strips on the ice but this will become impossible later next month as temperatures rise with the Southern Hemisphere summer, potentially putting at risk the entire season's fieldwork.


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Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-10-11
+2
Because they have had a temporary holdup they are scared that if the expeditions do not go ahead, it could jeopardise investigations that have gathered data over decades Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-10-11
+2
If these research project and expeditions do not go ahead, it could jeopardise investigations that have gathered data over decades. That I am sure accounts to a heck of a lot of money to tell us what. I think they should set down and look at these and tell us what use they are before they open them back up. Of course that might interfere with the congress vacations. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-10-24
+0
a0jImX Awesome post.Much thanks again. Fantastic. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-10-26
+0
v8jnnl Major thankies for the post. Awesome. Reply


 

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