The CSIRO, Australia’s peak science body, has re-modelled its estimates of the drift of debris from possible crash sites for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the Indian Ocean.
This comes as the Malaysian government today confirmed that the wreckage found on Reunion Island last week is from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.
“Today, 515 days since the plane disappeared, it is with a heavy heart that I must tell you that an international team of experts have conclusively confirmed that the aircraft debris found on Reunion Island is indeed from MH370,” Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said.
“We now have physical evidence that flight MH370 tragically ended in the southern Indian Ocean,” he said.
Here’s what the scientists came up with:
Blue, black and red dots simulate items blown by wind and ocean currents.
“It appears our original predictions may have been on the money,” the CSIRO says.
The most recent modelling indicates that the overall drift of debris in the months to July 2015 is likely to have been north and then west away from the accident site, perhaps as far west as Reunion.
The CSIRO says finding the flaperon this week matches up with calculations placing the crash site in the area being searched by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.
The original modelling in November 2014 indicated there was a very low probability that any debris from MH370 would have made landfall in the east Indian ocean at that time.
“Since then, we’ve made further refinements to our drift modelling,” the CSIRO says. “Our most recent models have extended the drift area to include the western Indian Ocean. We have also included an approximation of the effect of waves in addition to that of the wind and surface currents.”
Dr David Griffin, the CSIRO’s chief oceanographer, says the flaperon’s arrival at Reunion indicates it originated from the present MH370 search area.