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UA professor: New Malaysian Air search area a ‘blender’

PHOENIX — The new search area for Malaysian Air flight MH 370 is the ocean’s equivalent to a blender, a University of Arizona professor said.

The search is currently focused on an area off the coast of Australia.

“This is a huge mixing area for the ocean where the cold waters from very deep (come) up to the surface and we mix them with other water and we push it back down,” said Joellen Russell, an expert on the southern Indian Ocean. “It’s like blender for the ocean. It may be finding one piece here and having to go a couple hundred miles to find another piece.”

Those hunting for the possibly downed aircraft are also in for a rough ride, as that blender is driven by a strong current that also creates perilous conditions.

“There’s a very strong current that runs around Antarctica with these unbounded winds because they don’t really run into any speed bumps like the Rockies or the Himalayas,” said Russell. “They’re very, very, very fast winds and they create really, really big waves.”

The plan has been missing since March 8.