3 June 2010
Some ominous modeling data from the folks at the National Centers For Atmospheric Research (NCAR) today. The used a model to show where ocean currents may take the oil coming up in the Gulf.
It’s important to realize that this is not a forecast of where the oil will be, but a model of where the currents would normally carry it. The NCAR explanation of this is below the video.
The animation is based on a computer model simulation, using a virtual dye, that assumes weather and current conditions similar to those that occur in a typical year. It is one of a set of six scenarios released today that simulate possible pathways the oil might take under a variety of oceanic conditions. Each of the six scenarios shows the same overall movement of oil through the Gulf to the Atlantic and up the East Coast. However, the timing and fine-scale details differ, depending on the details of the ocean currents in the Gulf. The full set of six simulations can be found here. (Visualization by Tim Scheitlin and Mary Haley, NCAR; based on model simulations.)