It takes a long time to cross the Pacific Ocean if you’re a couch, a fridge, or a piece of a house.
Roughly 20 tons of debris sucked into the ocean during Japan’s massive tsunami is due to hit U.S. shores sometime in 2014, acording to University of Hawaii scientists.
Nikolai Maximenko, a senior researcher at the International Pacific Research Center in Hawaii, developed a model of how the tsunami debris is likely to move across the ocean. He based his model on the movements of thousands of buoys placed in the ocean over 30 years for purposes of studying the current.
Maximenko’s calculations put the debris from the tsunami at Midway Attol (an island midway between Japan and Hawaii) this winter. It will start washing up on Hawaiian shores in the winter or spring of 2013. And in the beginning of 2014, it will hit the West Coast, mostly Oregon and Washington.