Gulf Tragedy: Oil May Reach Loop Current Within 24 Hours

May 4th, 2010 - 2:52 am ICT by Angela Kaye Mason  

May 3 (THAINDIAN NEWS) Scientists say that the Gulf’s tragic oil spill could reach what is called the ‘Loop Current’ within the next day. This would take parts of the oil slick along Florida’s coastline into the Florida Keys.

According to Nick Shay, who is a physical oceanographer at the Rodenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science of the University of Miami, stated Monday that once the oil reaches the Loop Current, it is most likely to travel on to the Keys and end up in the Gulf Stream. This could have a devastating effect on Florida’s coastline, beaches, coral reefs, fisheries and ecosystem within one week. The Loop Current was explained to be like a “conveyor belt” which flows right around the Gulf Coast, through the Keys and up the East Coast. Nick Shay says that he cannot think of any scenario where the oil does not reach the Florida Keys.

In 1969, a Union Oil well which was five miles off of the coast of Santa Barbara, California blew out, and left a mess on the shores. People attacked this oily devastation by skimming oil off the top of the ocean’s surface, dispersing the oil slick with chemicals, and using straw and other materials to ’soak up’ the oil. Although it has been forty-one years and huge steps later in technology, the fight against the oil spill in the Gulf which is being waged by BP is being fought in much the same way. Taking proper care of the oil and then the pollution is damn near the same as what we see today,” said Robert G. Bea, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California at Berkeley who spent 16 years working for Shell Oil Co. “We’re still chasing it around with Scott towels.”

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