Ocean Currents Likely to Carry Gushing Oil Into Atlantic by Summer's End (Video)
With every attempt so far to stop the gusher of oil from the Deepwater Horizon failed, the grim news is that it could flow until Christmas. Adding an even more grim twist: New simulations by NCAR show that if it's not stopped by the end of summer, the oil will likely be dragged around Florida, up the East Coast, past North Carolina and into the middle of the Atlantic. This has been predicted from the start, but the video above shows one possibility of the route in vivid detail. NCAR says:
The computer simulations indicate that, once the oil in the uppermost ocean has become entrained in the Gulf of Mexico's fast-moving Loop Current, it is likely to reach Florida's Atlantic coast within weeks. It can then move north as far as about Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, with the Gulf Stream, before turning east. Whether the oil will be a thin film on the surface or mostly subsurface due to mixing in the uppermost region of the ocean is not known.
There's even a slim chance, if the gusher just keeps going unchecked, that it could reach Europe. Though by that time, as Dot Earth points out, scientists say by that time the oil will likely be very diluted and degraded.
Even if the latest BP attempt to bring this under control works--and, once again, there's some hope it will--let this simulation serve as a warning of the dramatic consequences of offshore oil drilling and our energy addiction.
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