Scientists laid out a worst-case scenario in which the oceanic conveyor belt would see the first oil wash up in Florida in as little as six days, before carrying it up the US east coast and even into the Gulf Stream.
Large ribbons of crude and sludge have started washing ashore in Louisiana's marshlands in recent days, even as BP says it has contained some 40 percent of the oil streaming from the wreckage of the Deepwater Horizon rig.
The European Space Agency said Wednesday that its satellites showed oil being dragged into the powerful clockwise-moving current that joins the Gulf Stream, the northern hemisphere's most important ocean current system.
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