EPA logoThe uncertain climate for researchers in the United States under the Trump Administration just got more so, with several media outlets reporting late Tuesday that the US Environmental Protection Agency has been issued with a gag order by the president.

EPA staff are now no longer allowed to make social media or blog posts or to send out press releases.

Not only that, but the agency has also been barred from awarding new business contracts or grants, leaving environmental research up in the air. According to news reports, the orders are said to be only temporary, but it is unknown how long they will last or how exactly they will affect climate research or efforts to improve air and water quality typically supported by the EPA.

The US Department of Agriculture has also been similarly silenced, though a spokesperson for that agency said that applies only to press releases and documents, but not to scientific articles published in peer-reviewed journals.

- With files from The New York Post, The Toronto Star, The Verge, and The Washington Post