For the present no oil on Europe´s coasts


Simulations at the KlimaCampus show that the oil from the rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico will most probably not reach Europe via the Gulf Stream. Nuno Serra, a physical oceanographer at the University of Hamburg, simulated for the period of one year the trajectories of particles transported by ocean currents from the northeastern part of the Gulf into the Atlantic. The simulation shows the possible dispersion of the oil. The result: The many eddies cause a widespread distribution of the particles, whereby the concentration decreases.

Serra found it highly unlikely that large amounts of the oil will reach Europe. However, smaller quantities could reach this far in the course of the next three years. The simulation is only an approximation of reality. The actual values for physical conditions such as wind direction and amplitude, wave action and processes such as evaporation, biological decomposition or the deposition of oil on the sea bottom play a role and are not reproduced in the model.

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