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

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

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Abstract/Summary

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.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1002/grl.50985
ISSN: 00948276
Additional Keywords: gas-hydrates dissociation; methane release; ocean warming; modeling; Svalbard; Arctic
Date made live: 20 Nov 2013 15:39 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/503953

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