Government shutdown raises fears of scientific data loss, climate research delays

(Inside Climate News, 10 Jan 2019) National Hurricane Center staff would normally be working on forecast improvements: 'We can't do any research and development for the next hurricane season.'

Updated Jan. 12 with the government shutdown surpassing the 1995-96 shutdown to become the longest in U.S. history.

Even though the ideology of President Donald Trump's administration has been to deny climate science, communities across the country and institutions around the world have continued to rely on the U.S. government to grapple with the climate crisis.

Whether it's dealing with the devastating impacts of global warming, or supporting research efforts to better understand it, the government shutdown has abruptly stymied that work.

"The one thing that feels very different this time is it feels like there's no hope in sight," said Nicole Cantello, chief steward of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 704 in Chicago. "How this is going to end is not readily apparent."

The budget impasse over Trump's demand for funds to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border became the longest U.S. government shutdown in history on Jan. 12, surpassing the 21-day record set in 1995-96 over former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's demands for deep budget cuts. Although the Democrat-led House was making a bid to pass bills to get parts of the government up and running, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has signaled he will not bring any measure to a vote that the president won't sign. 

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Inside Climate News, 10 Jan 2019: Government shutdown raises fears of scientific data loss, climate research delays