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Shutdown Could Kill Antarctic Research Shutdown Could Kill Antarctic Research

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Energy

Shutdown Could Kill Antarctic Research

The government shutdown could hamper U.S. research on Antarctica.(MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images)

photo of Alex Brown
October 7, 2013

The government shutdown could claim another casualty if it drags on through mid-October: the National Science Foundation's Antarctic research season.

All but a few scientists would be forced to leave the agency's three research stations on the continent, Nature reports. That would effectively end the October-to-February research season. "We are in a major planning mode to begin an orderly transition to caretaker mode at the stations," said an official for Lockheed Martin, the contractor running NSF's Antarctic work. "A decision will be made early next week."

Studies mapping ice sheets, subglacial lakes, and Antarctic biology are among those affected.

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