In Antarctica, Scientists Hail President Obama

20 01 2009

ROTHERA BASE, Antarctica (Reuters) – U.S. geologists working at an Antarctic base hailed President Barack Obama’s inauguration on Tuesday and expressed hopes for a stronger focus on science.

“It’s a very exciting time,” David Barbeau, assistant professor of geology at the University of South Carolina, told Reuters after watching the inauguration at the British Rothera research station on the Antarctic Peninsula.

“There certainly is a feeling that this administration will have science pretty close to the forefront,” he said in the base, by a bay strewn with icebergs with several seals sunning themselves on the ice.

And he said he felt inspired by Obama’s commitment to doubling the basic research funding over the next 10 years.

“It’s certainly very hopeful to have someone coming into office … who is excited about science and supportive of it,” said Amanda Savrda, a graduate student in geology at the University of South Carolina working with Barbeau.

“It seems to bode well for my future and the future of a lot of people in science,” she said. Barbeau and Savrda are trying to work out exactly when the ocean formed between Antarctica and South America millions of years ago.

At the Rothera base, other scientists are studying everything from ice sheets to starfish for signs of how they may be affected by climate change. Obama has promised to make the fight against global warming a priority.

Former President George W. Bush angered many scientists and foreign governments by deciding against adopting the Kyoto Protocol in 2001, the main U.N. plan for fighting climate change. All other industrialized nations back Kyoto.

From Reuters

— For Reuters latest environment blogs click on: blogs.reuters.com/environment/

(Editing by Sandra Maler)

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One response

21 01 2009
coffee

interesting publicity for obama

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