Modeling the fate of methane hydrates under global warming.

Kretschmer, Kerstin, Biastoch, Arne , Rüpke, Lars and Burwicz, Ewa (2015) Modeling the fate of methane hydrates under global warming. Open Access Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 29 (5). pp. 610-625. DOI 10.1002/2014GB005011.

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Large amounts of methane hydrate locked up within marine sediments are vulnerable to climate change. Changes in bottom water temperatures may lead to their destabilization and the release of methane into the water column or even the atmosphere. In a multimodel approach, the possible impact of destabilizing methane hydrates onto global climate within the next century is evaluated. The focus is set on changing bottom water temperatures to infer the response of the global methane hydrate inventory to future climate change. Present and future bottom water temperatures are evaluated by the combined use of hindcast high-resolution ocean circulation simulations and climate modeling for the next century. The changing global hydrate inventory is computed using the parameterized transfer function recently proposed by Wallmann et al. (2012). We find that the present-day world's total marine methane hydrate inventory is estimated to be 1146Gt of methane carbon. Within the next 100years this global inventory may be reduced by ∼0.03% (releasing ∼473Mt methane from the seafloor). Compared to the present-day annual emissions of anthropogenic methane, the amount of methane released from melting hydrates by 2100 is small and will not have a major impact on the global climate. On a regional scale, ocean bottom warming over the next 100years will result in a relatively large decrease in the methane hydrate deposits, with the Arctic and Blake Ridge region, offshore South Carolina, being most affected.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000356383700007
Keywords: Climate change; Gas hydrates; Global estimates; Methane
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-TM Theory and Modeling
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-MUHS
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-PO Physical Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
Publisher: AGU (American Geophysical Union), Wiley
Projects: KCM
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2015 06:44
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 23:50

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