Last night, I posted a satellite image of a tendril of oil moving southeast. Today, NOAA head Jane Lubchenco has confirmed that some oil has reached the Loop Current and is headed towards Florida. From NPR:
NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco says that aerial surveys show the main oil slick is dozens of miles from the Loop Current, which circulates water to the Florida Keys, and then to the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic Ocean. But, she adds, “a tendril of light oil has been transported down to the Loop Current.”
University of South Florida scientists say:
According to the Ocean Circulation Group at USF, “forecasts say — assuming persistence of the Loop Current and absent significant dispersion and evaporation of the oil — the slick may reach the middle Keys in the Florida Straight by May 26.
Tarballs were found in the Florida Keys, and have been sent for analysis to see if they came from the BP oil spill. If so, it may be evidence that there has been oil in the Loop Current for weeks.
More info on political developments at the NYT Dot Earth blog, as well as new video of the spill.