Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union

NSF's South Pole station plan clears technical hurdles


  • J. Wakefield


A National Science Foundation review panel has given the thumbs up for the proposed South Pole Redevelopment Plan, which would take about 8 years to complete and cost more than $171 million (Table 1).

If not rebuilt, the already overburdened Amundsen-Scott Station will be rendered useless within the decade, according to NSF officials. Present conditions at the nearly 20-year-old station are already hurting the efficiency of environmental and global change research conducted there, as well as the morale of scientists who not only work and live in isolation from the rest of the world for months at a time, but endure many hardships, such as the subzero temperatures that reach −85°C in winter.