This blogpost will be a little different, I want to share with you some brief fact McMurdo research station in Antarctica. This is a description from United states antarctic program:"McMurdo Station (77°51'S, 166°40'E), the main U.S. station in Antarctica, is a coastal station at the southern tip of Ross Island, about 3,864 km (2,415 miles) south of Christchurch, New Zealand, and 1,360 km (850 miles) north of the South Pole. The original station was built in 1955 to 1956 for the International Geophysical Year. Today's station is the primary logistics facility for supply of inland stations and remote field camps, and is also the waste management center for much of the U.S. Antarctic Program. Year-round and summer science projects are supported at McMurdo"
"Research is performed at and near McMurdo Station in aeronomy and astrophysics External U.S. government site, organisms and ecosystems External U.S. government site, earth sciences External U.S. government site, glaciology and glacial geology External U.S. government site, integrated system science External U.S. government site, ocean and atmospheric sciences External U.S. government site. Participants of the Antarctic Artists and Writers Program External U.S. government site also work at sites in the area."
Why am I writing about this? Because the government shutdown is now forcing McMurdo station to close, and send home researchers and technicians and loose millions of dollars in research costs, but more importantly loose extremely important research information.
Here is some more information from the sign the Congress: Shutdown Exemption for the United States Antarctic Program website: "The effects this shutdown will be the loss of continuity in projects that have been ongoing since the International Geophysical Year (IGY) some 50 years ago. Scientific data such as the Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) which has been ongoing for 30 years will have a large data gap in at a crucial time in our understanding of climate change. A similar problem would be the abrupt end to 11 years of continuous data on the solar cycle that is used, for example, by the UC Boulder Lidar project. Since solar cycles are 11 years long, missing this last critical bit of data could jeopardize the multi-year investment. Also threatened is our understanding of rapidly changing ecosystems that is being generated by the study of Penguins in the Palmer Peninsula.
Research conduct in Antarctica is costly and can only be conducted during very specific windows of time. Even a brief shutdown could ruin the integrity of studies and translate to millions of dollars of research funds wasted. It’s incredibly costly to re-start studies and could take months or even years to begin again because of the climate. Not to mention that research conducted by other nations will also be affected by the closure of USAP facilities."
The guy who created this petition (Richard Jeong) is hoping for this: "Congress must pass a shutdown exemption, similar to US Military Pay and US Defense Contractors, for the USAP program or end the shutdown."
So if you think research in the Antarctic region is important please sign this petition in hope for something to change and allow the research to continue. Maybe it will work, maybe it wont, at least we can say we tried.
So please go to this website and sign the petition: sign the Congress: Shutdown Exemption for the United States Antarctic Program website
Have a nice Saturday