The response of methane hydrate beneath the seabed offshore Svalbard to ocean warming during the next three centuries.

Marin-Moreno, Hector, Minshull, Timothy A., Westbrook, Graham K., Sinha, Bablu and Sarkar, Sudipta (2013) The response of methane hydrate beneath the seabed offshore Svalbard to ocean warming during the next three centuries. Open Access Geophysical Research Letters, 40 (19). pp. 5159-5163. DOI 10.1002/grl.50985.

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Abstract

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and large-scale rapid release of methane from hydrate may have contributed to past abrupt climate change inferred from the geological record. The discovery in 2008 of over 250 plumes of methane gas escaping from the seabed of the West Svalbard continental margin at ~400 m water depth (mwd) suggests that hydrate is dissociating in the present-day Arctic. Here we model the dynamic response of hydrate-bearing sediments over a period of 2300 years and investigate ocean warming as a possible cause for present-day and likely future dissociation of hydrate, within 350–800 mwd, west of Svalbard. Future temperatures are given by two climate models, HadGEM2 and CCSM4, and scenarios, Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) 8.5 and 2.6. Our results suggest that over the next three centuries 5.3–29 Gg yr−1 of methane may be released to the Arctic Ocean on the West Svalbard margin.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: gas-hydrates dissociation; methane release; ocean warming; modeling; Svalbard; Arctic
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-GDY Marine Geodynamics
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1002/grl.50985
ISSN: 0094-8276
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2017 10:19
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2017 10:20
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/39224

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