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Computer models show Gulf oil reaching East Coast

Posted June 3, 2010

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— Oil leaking from a damaged well in the Gulf of Mexico could affect North Carolina’s coast soon, environmentalists said Thursday.

“We could look at having oil here on our beaches within no more than two weeks,” said Doug Rader, of chief oceans scientist for the Environmental Defense Fund.

The National Center for Atmospheric Research models showed Thursday that oil could enter the Gulf’s loop current, go around the tip of Florida and as far north as Cape Hatteras, N.C.

Carolina coast could see oil soon Carolina coast could see oil soon

According to researchers, oil could threaten East Coast beaches by early July, but they cautioned the models were not a forecast.

“Very direct, rapid linkages exist between the location of this spill and our beaches in North Carolina,” Rader said.

Rader said the state will eventually see tar balls on North Carolina beaches.

“Birds and fish and sea turtles and a wide array of important marine creature are at risk,” he said.

Seafood along parts of the outer banks could contain some of the toxicity.

Should the oil arrive, the state Division of Public Health has created warnings for swimmers, boaters and fishermen. They include avoiding oily waters and contaminated seafood.

Rader said the effects of the oil could be around North Carolina beaches for a while. He said the longer the oil leaks in the gulf, the longer it will trail along the Carolina coast.

“The amount of toxic material loose in the Gulf and moving toward us in the Atlantic is without precedent,” he said.

After affecting the East Coast, the oil could then head by Bermuda on its way to Europe.

Martin Visbeck, a research team member with the University of Kiel in Germany, says it is unlikely any oil reaching Europe would be thick enough to be harmful.

8 Comments

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  • cary1969 Jun 4, 2010

    awake in wake....i'm sure there is nothing made from a foreign country in your house then huh?

  • Qwerty27807 Jun 4, 2010

    Awake in Wake: We already see this in broadband internet - the rest of the world zooms ahead of us while the paid-for politicians twiddle their thumbs.

  • Awake in Wake Jun 3, 2010

    Hey, well at least we all get to experience the genius of "Drill Baby Drill." Think of all the fish that will be poisoned. I bet that there will be some interesting fishing going on in the Gulf Stream off of North Carolina. We get what we deserve for our expedient and careless ways. There was a time when the US was an innovator. Now we are lazy and prefer to import from others. The Chinese are so far ahead of us with alternative energy. Soon we will be importing our wind turbines and solar panels from China. We keep electing politicians who are in the pockets of old industry corporations that have no interest in seeing new technologies developed. The US will soon be doing the equivalent of using typewriters when everyone else around the world is using PCs. This does not bode well for our country.

  • fl2nc2ca2md2nc Jun 3, 2010

    Are these the same computer models that predict where the hurricanes are going? ;^D

  • GinkgoPhyta Jun 3, 2010

    Here is the video of one of the simulations that was run based on average loop currents:
    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/06/gulf-oil-could-spread-to-atlantic-coast/

    They did 6 different models, and I think you can find all the videos online. They all are about the same but they vary in how soon the oil enters the loop current. The one shown is kind of a in-between. Looks like Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and parts of Virginia on the East Coast will all be impacted eventually based on the computer models.

  • BeastOnTheHill Jun 3, 2010

    I hope every drop ends up in the UK. They deserve it.

  • EverythingTicksMeOff Jun 3, 2010

    By the way, I wonder if Pat Robertson has announced which group of people that he doesn't like that God is punishing with this oil spill?

  • stwatson Jun 3, 2010

    great....