Good times, eh? Michael Graham Richard examines the question ahead of the summer:
Aside from making it impossible for surface ships to stick around the site and work on fixing the well and capturing as much oil as possible, a hurricane would violently spread the oil everywhere in the Gulf and maybe even help it reach the loop current. This could bring some oil all the way over Florida and up the East coast of North-America.
Chris Mooney also investigates:
At least one forecast team puts the chance of a strong hurricane hammering some part of the Gulf Coast this year at 44 percent, and any such storm would threaten to disrupt ongoing containment or environmental protection measures. In an absolute worst-case scenario, powerful hurricane winds might drive the oil slick towards land and push some of it ashore with the ensuing storm surge.
A silver lining:
A hurricane of sufficient force might cause enough ocean mixing to help disperse and "weather" the oil slick, which could in turn speed up the process of biodegradation.
Larry O'Hanlon talks to some scientists.
(Photo: Oil stains an island in the Barataria Bay on May 24, 2010 on the Gulf coast of Louisiana. The island is home to thousands of brown pelicans, egrets and roseate spoonbills, many of which are now stained by oil. Officials now say that it may be impossible to clean the hundreds of miles of coastal wetlands and islands affected by the massive oil spill which continues gushing in the Gulf of Mexico. By John Moore/Getty Images.)
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