Scientists Expect BP Oil to Foul Beaches in North Carolina, perhaps Europe 06.04.10  
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By Bruce Finley The Denver Post

National Center for Atmospheric Research scientists released a computer animation Thursday that shows oil moving out of the Gulf of Mexico, up the East Coast and out toward Europe

National Center for Atmospheric Research scientists released a computer animation Thursday that shows oil moving out of the Gulf of Mexico, up the East Coast and out toward Europe. The animation dramatized results of an NCAR computer-modeling study that found oil from British Petroleum's April 20 blowout likely will spread beyond the gulf this summer. The study is not a forecast, scientists at federally funded NCAR emphasized, but a simulation providing a range of possible scenarios.

Visit Your Favorite Beach While it is Still Sandy
Where
Oil Expected
Louisiana Coast
5/28/2010
Pensacola, FL
6/1/2010
Florida Keys
7/3/2010
Miami, FL
7/17/2010
Myrtle Beach, SC
7/23/2010
Outer Banks, NC
7/25/2010
Yucatan
8/3/10
Europe
Merry Christmas from BP
CranePelicanOiled bird
 

 

"It gives you some idea of what's going to happen in the long term," said Bill Large, director of NCAR's climate and global dynamics division. Whether BP's spreading oil slick will sully the U.S. Atlantic coastline is still uncertain, Large said. "That depends on what happens with local winds. If some big storm comes in and blows it onshore, people will think it is terrible. If it stays offshore, it will be seen differently," he said.

The study, done in Boulder, determined that once the oil slick hits the fast-moving Loop Current, it likely would reach Florida's east coast within weeks and move north as far as North Carolina. The computer simulations estimated a range of possible trajectories based on an understanding of how ocean currents transport material. Much depends on the Loop Current, which eventually feeds into the Gulf Stream, and on wind, NCAR officials said. The simulation did not approximate whether the oil slick, as it spreads, would be thick on the surface or mixed in with upper ocean waters. Scientists compared their study to releasing dye into water and watching it spread.

"It is very uncertain what the impacts on the coast will be," Large said, indicating August is the most likely month when the oil slick will start to move north. "This is just saying it is not just a local gulf problem."

Leadership From the Top, as BP's CEO Tony Hayward sees it: "We had too many people that were working to save the world."

Stanford University 5/09

If your editor had been there:

Question: Brilliant, Sir! You really nailed that one! Saving the Earth! How quaint! And how has this adherence to the dying profits-over-safety paradigm been workin' for ya?

Response: I was paid $4.6 million dollars last year! I must be doing something right!

Question: If you get rid of all the generalists who know the connections between say, geology, hydrology, and ecology, and you keep only those who know more and more about less and less, don't you risk having important decisions made by people who know everything about nothing?

Response: Guards! Take this man out! He is endangering my performance bonus!

What You Can Do:

  1. Email Chairman Tony Hayward to take a long walk on a short pier.
  2. Collect your hair, pets' hair, and nylons and send it in to a charity that makes oil absorption socks.

 

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