The US government shutdown has thrown the future of this summer's Antarctic science programs into question, with some Australian projects at risk.
The American Antarctic Program has almost run out of money and the US National Science Foundation says it has been forced to recall researchers and non-essential staff.
Scientists from the University of New South Wales say Antarctic research cannot just be restarted on a whim and are worried vital climate change studies will be delayed or cancelled.
On the ninth day of the federal government shutdown US president Barack Obama has criticised House Speaker John Boehner for not permitting all Republicans to attend a meeting at the White House.
Mr Obama has summoned Republicans and Democrats for a series of fresh meetings in a bid to avert a default on America's debt.
Mr Boehner has been pressing the president to negotiate over the budget and the debt ceiling impasse.
But he has apparently stopped all Republicans attending the meeting, limiting it instead to a group of 18 who hold leadership positions.
The US budget dispute has come at the worst possible time for researchers looking forward to a summer of science on the frozen continent.
Professor Michael Burton from the University of New South Wales has a science project on the High Antarctic Plateau and says the situation is frustrating.
"We're getting ready to do science down there, and you get stopped by something like this. It's a little bit frustrating to put it mildly," he said.
He says the logistics are managed through the US Antarctic program.
"If that closes down it basically stops our program. We can't do the science that we came to do."
"You can't just go down and start things up in Antarctica. There's a long lead time."
With federal funds frozen, the US National Science Foundation has put America's Antarctic program into caretaker mode.
The country's three main research stations, its ships and other facilities will be shut down and emptied of hundreds of non-essential staff.
Everything that is not related to human safety - including research - has been suspended until further notice.
While it is only the US program which has come to a sudden halt, the international collaborative nature of Antarctic research means it could jeopardise parts of Australia's and New Zealand's programs.
Antarctica New Zealand operations manager Graeme Ayres says their research will continue despite the American's struggles.
"We're obviously concerned for their program," he said from Scott Base, about three kilometres from the American McMurdo Station.
"I think from Antarctica New Zealand's perspective we're facing minimal impact at this stage. We know that we can carry on."
McMurdo Station is the largest research and logistical hub in Antarctica, playing a vital role in supplying remote stations and the bases of other countries.
No-one yet knows what will happen to this year's science projects - which range from penguins to astrophysics to climate change - but some changes are already being made.
"We've been able to modify at least one science event. We'll be able to carry on conducting its own research without American collaboration," Mr Ayres said.
The Australian Antarctic Division says everything is happening as it should and there have been no problems so far. But with the peak science season so close and flights from McMurdo to Australian bases scheduled in the next few days, that could change.
"The mood here at Scott Base is very positive," Mr Ayres said.
"Scientists are looking at where they are collaborating with the US as to how they may need to adapt their programs. And I think that Kiwis, like Aussies, are highly adaptable in these situations."