Is the East Coast in for an Oil-Filled Summer?

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Yes, according to one scenario released by the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Depressing video inside.

The video is the result of an effort to use computer modeling to simulate where the oil may go, based on the typical patterns of currents in the Gulf of Mexico. The scientists caution this isn’t a forecast, per say — only a simulation based on a set of common conditions. If there are changes to the current, for example, oil may miss the coast entirely.

But still, researchers say they think there’s a good chance damage could expand beyond the Gulf: “[O]ur best knowledge says the scope of this environmental disaster is likely to reach far beyond Florida, with impacts that have yet to be understood,” said NCAR scientist Synte Peacock, one of the scientists who worked on the project.

Let’s hope the “top hat” cap works.