Oil may reach Loop Current within 24 hours — then on to the Florida Keys

Scientists say the Gulf oil spill could get into the what’s called the Loop Current within a day, eventually carrying oil south along the Florida coast and into the Florida Keys.

Too much bad news to keep up with.  This from the AP 3 hours ago:

Nick Shay, a physical oceanographer at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, said Monday once the oil enters the Loop Current, it likely will end up in the Keys and continue east into the Gulf Stream.

Shay says the oil could affect Florida’s beaches, coral reefs, fisheries and ecosystem within a week.

He described the Loop Current as similar to a “conveyor belt,” sweeping around the Gulf, through the Keys and right up the East Coast.

Shay says he cannot think of any scenario where the oil doesn’t eventually reach the Florida Keys.


18 Responses to Oil may reach Loop Current within 24 hours — then on to the Florida Keys

  1. Chris Winter says:

    Here’s a site which is covering the DWH leak wrt Florida specifically:
    Deepwater Horizon Spill & Offshore Oil Drilling

  2. Richard Brenne says:

    This is unimaginably sad, tragic and…inevitable.

    While not gloating or rejoicing in any way, we also need to use these most teachable moments all we can. This is the consequence of the “Drill, Baby, Drill!” crowd and we need to have people chanting that dripping with oil-laden irony at every public Palin, Beck, Inhofe and Limbaugh talk.

    When the oil damages the majority of both the Gulf and East Coasts it is difficult to imagine a bigger single teachable moment that will affect so many of the American population, media and policy-makers where they live with one event. While this is not narrowly a climate change effect, it is a fossil fuel event, and the only solution to all fossil fuel events from this one to all climate change impacts is as dramatic a transition to renewables as possible.

    Just as we saw with Massey and Blankenship, so here with BP and their CEO and management, these people have no public, environmental, Earth or any other interest other than their own profits. They have made themselves into monsters, and mind-numbingly stupid ones at that. By lying and continuously downplaying and low-balling the estimates of leaking, did they think we (and ultimately all other Gulf and East Coast species) wouldn’t notice?

    I’m speaking to Jane Lubchenco in a few hours and it’ll be interesting to get her take on this.

  3. Dyuane says:

    BP need to clean this mess up. The oil they are getting is not even they oil we use for gas. But the gas prices will go up.

  4. Fredo says:

    The higher the better! Enough death-cars, enough death-gas, enough death-drilling. Boycott all of it even if it means radical changes in your life. Walk more. Telecommute if you can. Move closer to work or work closer to home. Go out to eat in your neighborhood instead of across town. Yes you will get bored of the same food, but you can get to know the owners better and have more friends in your life. Vacation nearby, and by train if you can. This sh*t needs to end.

  5. LMA says:

    Fredo, I couldn’t agree more! Only when we turn our backs on fossil fuels will the government and oil companies get the message. I live in the city and still I have neighbours who must have two cars, and must jump in the cars even to shop locally. We don’t need fresh fruit shipped worldwide. We have abundant fruit and veggies in the summer and there is nothing wrong with canned or frozen in the winter. We need to frequent farmer’s markets. Train vacations are excellent. You get to see the scenery and eat great meals. Why oh why must we get to our destination at break speed? If we all just took a long hard look at our fossil fuel usage and changed our ways, maybe we could share the earth with all those species that are being driven to extinction by loss of habitat due to our greed for resources.

  6. Mark Green says:

    Christ. That’s awful. If it takes 3 months to fix this, even Canada and Europe will be seeing oil on their shores.

  7. substanti8 says:

    The prospect of BP oil contaminating the beaches of western Europe reminds me of how the radioactivity from Chernobyl spread to other countries.  Will this be the “Chernobyl of petroleum”?

  8. Rikki (Australia) says:

    Does this mean the oil might reach Europe? Would it break up and disapear over time if it stayed in the ocean (Atlantic Gulf Stream) or would it eventually wash up on the Irish and Cornish beaches?

  9. jyyh says:

    well, the remaining atlantic eel population certainly doesn’t like this emusified oil floating under surface, but they don’t get a vote. i estimate 5-9 days to Keys once its in the stream, further week and a half or so to cape hatteras, and then it’s more wind driven drift through many eddies over the north atlantic (minimum 2 months, i’d say) diluting much on the way, but i wouldn’t be surprised if someone claims to detect this oil (guessing it has some sort of signature chemistry (light crude from deep?)) by the end of summer over the European side of the atlantic.

  10. jorleh says:

    BP going bankrupt after a year´s spilling? What a pity.

  11. Mark says:

    Meanwhile the NY Times is running an article saying the Deepwater disaster isn’t that bad.

    They suggest “experts have been quick to predict apocalypse”. But those experts aren’t quoted.

    They then take issue with Obama’s comment that this is a “potentially unprecedented environmental disaster”. They claim that the Deepwater blowout is not unprecedented.

    They mention the Ixtoc I blowout in 1979 and then compare Deepwater to the 36 billion gallons of oil spilled in Kuwait by retreating Iraqi forces in the first Gulf War.

    They quote a marine expert as saying “The sky is not falling… it isn’t the end of the Gulf of Mexico.”

    This article is just one more example of fossil fuel apologists attempting to frame the debate by casting environmentalist’s concerns as extremist.

    The article states – “No one, not even the oil industry’s most fervent apologists, is making light of this accident.”

    No one except the NY Times it would seem.

  12. mike roddy says:

    Good one, Richard Brenne.
    Speaking of Chernobyl, the official death toll is 15,000, the actual toll is 940,000. You won’t read that in MSM.
    The oil companies will soon be sending instructions to Fox to talk about the great recovery of Prince William Sound. There’s another word for this: Evil.

  13. substanti8 says:

    “You won’t read that in MSM.”

    Let’s also see whether the Wall Street media lets people know about the health danger to workers trying to cleanup beaches after crude contamination.

  14. Stuart says:

    If there is any justice in the universe then most of the oil and oil-soaked rotting carcasses will all wash up in front of Limbaugh’s Florida mansion.

  15. Richard Brenne says:

    Stuart (#14): With Limbaugh’s among them.

    Fredo (#4) and LDA (#5): I agree with you guys completely about trains and would add bikes and backpacking to the mix. Some of my best vacations include biking from Canada to Mexico and taking the bus up the East Side of the Sierra Nevada, backpacking and climbing for 10 days out to the West side and hitchhiking home.

    I recently spoke with the CEO and Board of Directors of Union Pacific (What a chance meeting at Multnomah Falls in the Columbia Gorge on their annual meeting train trip from Portland to Omaha!) and unfortunately they’re not thinking about trains in the progressive and essential way you are because they make so much money moving freight, especially coal. There are about 600 coal power plants that each burn about a mile-long train’s worth of coal a day, or the equivalent to a 600-mile long coal train a day, with the world burning about a 3600 mile coal train a day.

    So trains as you envision them are great and progressive, while how they’re being used today is actually extremely destructive. Somehow we need to have your visions dominate everywhere, including the railroads themselves – you guys ever wanted to run a railroad?

    Also all your ideas are great but unless they’re practiced by a majority and finally all, they’ll be great for your invidual karma but our global karma will still be a runaway train toward our own destruction.

    So somehow while doing all you suggest, we need to make that our regional, national and global paradigm as well. . .and by about Thursday.

  16. Richard Brenne says:

    Bill McKibben (#3) –

    Incredibly eloquent quote and comments, Bill, as always (and I have a Green Hoover – it’s called a broom).

    The post and comments are all great, also as always.

    Here’s an open letter:


    Dude, this is it. I know you proposed off-shore drilling to take the wind out of Palin’s sails (maybe propose off-shore wind to take the oil out of her hair).

    I know you have your timetable of health care, immigration, then energy and climate. That timetable is seriously out of date. Unlike some in the other party, you can walk and chew gum at the same time. Scrap your timetable now. This is war.

    Kobe and Lebron have plans and timetables too until they see Westbrook, Rondo and Williams blowing past them and beating them, and then they adjust. It is time for you to adjust.

    As ArchitectureWeek (#8) suggests, you might need to play this for maximum impact just as Lincoln had to win a key battle to sign the Emancipation Proclamation. But you need to be ready. If the oil rounds the Keys to head up the East Coast, you must make the most important speech of our – and perhaps any – time.

    Then you need to quote McKibben’s quote above (come to think of it, you need to hire him as a speechwriter). You need to tell us you’ve been lying to us, as has every leader we’ve ever had who says or implies that we can sustain the unsustainable (Jim Kunstler’s phrase – hire him too).

    Instead of raising our expectations you need to lower them and tell us the truth, that what we were doing was always unsustainable and would inevitably lead to our own destruction (okay, now you’ve also hired Al Bartlett and Jim Hansen and Joe Romm).

    This is just a once-in-a-decade chance to tell us all this.

    You’ve often seemed like the only adult in a nation of selfish, greedy and stupid adolescents. Now you need to grow up and take this on. Yes, it might be as difficult over time as what Lincoln and King faced, but I believe you were born to do it.

    You’ve always had a Lincolnesque ambition. If that ambition is only to grow your own ego, we will all come to ruin.

    If that ambition is to shift our paradigm entirely from the bullet train toward our own destruction to something that allows survival, community and caring, then and only then will you be answering your calling.

    The time for predator drone jokes is over. Millions could tell that and similar jokes with your impeccable timing. But that is completely meaningless relative to the impeccable timing of your destiny that you need to answer right now.

    Tell us you made a mistake playing conventional cowardly politics by suggesting off-shore drilling. Tell us that we’re going renewable as fast as we possibly can, and faster than most might want.

    Tell us that you can only lead in the proportion that we follow you, and that you will fail and we will all fail unless we band together, supporting you and following you through rocky shoals in the dead of night. . .until we succeed.

    You might’ve just asked to be another president, but we can’t afford just another president. You have to be transcendent. You have it in you to do that, I’ve seen it.

    Now do it.

    Your Friend,

    Richard Brenne

  17. Chris Winter says:

    Richard Brenne wrote: “You have to be transcendent. You have it in you to do that, I’ve seen it.”

    I hark back to what Gen. Benjamin O. Davis, West Point ’36, of Tuskegee Airmen fame, wrote in his autobiography: “I learned in World War II that people transcend events.”

  18. Chris Winter says:

    Some links to models of the oil’s movement:
    Track the Gulf of Mexico oil spill movement in animated graphic
    By Dan Swenson, The Times-Picayune — May 02, 2010, 11:49AM
    Forecasts of oil spill movement by USF Ocean Circulation Group