Malaysia Airlines Crash: MH370 and MH17 Jul 30, 2015 20:24:33 GMT
Post by Admin on Jul 30, 2015 20:24:33 GMT
An expert in ocean circulation tells NPR's Geoff Brumfiel that it is "highly likely" that currents in the Indian Ocean could have carried debris from the presumed crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 off Australia's west coast to Reunion Island near Madagascar.
"I think it is very likely that it's from Flight 370," says Arnold L. Gordon of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. "I think that once that's confirmed, one could use model output to work your way back to where it came from, where it was in March 2014," at the time the plane disappeared after taking off from Kuala Lumpur for what was to have been a flight to Beijing.
Even so, Gordon says that the uncertainties in the models and the chaos inherent in ocean eddies isn't likely to define the crash site any more precisely than has already been worked out by search teams. His remarks follow the discovery of a barnacle-encrusted piece of aircraft debris on the French island off the southeast coast of Africa. The wreckage appears to be a piece of a wing from a commercial airliner, possibly a Boeing 777 like MH370, which disappeared on March 8, 2014, with 239 people aboard — seemingly without a trace.
The Wall Street Journal quotes David Griffin, a physical oceanographer at Australia's national science agency, as saying that while "debris goes many places" in the ocean, the seasonal cycle would have taken most of the wreckage north and west, "possibly right across the Indian [Ocean] by now." Robin Beaman, a marine geologist at Australia's James Cook University, is quoted by The Associated Press as saying there is precedent for large objects traveling across the vast Indian Ocean. Beaman notes that after a man fell overboard from his boat off Western Australia last year, the boat was found eight months later west of Madagascar.