I read the news today, oh boy.
In the science and global warming research arena untold millions of dollars will be totally wasted, as important research programs are cancelled. Not to mention the human toll - wasted planning and preparation; research programs requiring ongoing work will be devastated; careers sidelined; and of course, then there is the more subtle impact of disillusionment and creeping hopelessness of being under the thumb of leaders who couldn't care less about science, and in fact, believe it can be disregarded at will.
I went to the NSF website to read their announcement - but the website is basically shut down. Turns out the announcement can be found at the United States Arctic Program website. Here I share the beginning of the LiveScience report, a link to an NPR story, the USAP announcement, followed by a look at what the NSF website's has to say, then I finish with part of a personal account from McMurdo Station that's been posted at http://icewishes.wordpress.com.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is responsible for managing and coordinating the U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP) on behalf of the nation. This includes providing support personnel and facilities and coordinating transportation and other logistics for scientific research. Due to the lapse in appropriation, funds for this support will be depleted on or about October 14, 2013.
Without additional funding, NSF has directed its Antarctic support contractor to begin planning and implementing caretaker status for research stations, ships and other assets. The agency is required to take this step as a result of the absence of appropriation and the Antideficiency Act.
Under caretaker status, the USAP will be staffed at a minimal level to ensure human safety and preserve government property, including the three primary research stations, ships and associated research facilities. All field and research activities not essential to human safety and preservation of property will be suspended.
As NSF moves to caretaker status, it will also develop the information needed to restore the 2013-14 austral summer research program to the maximum extent possible, once an appropriation materializes. It is important to note, however, that some activities cannot be restarted once seasonally dependent windows for research and operations have passed, the seasonal workforce is released, science activities are curtailed and operations are reduced.
NSF remains committed to protecting the safety and health of its deployed personnel and to its stewardship of the USAP under these challenging circumstances.
Updates regarding government operating status and resumption of normal operations can be found at www.opm.gov.