Sensitivity of the global submarine hydrate inventory to scenarios of future climate change

S. J. Hunter*, D. S. Goldobin, A. M. Haywood, A. Ridgwell, J. G. Rees

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The global submarine inventory of methane hydrate is thought to be considerable. The stability of marine hydrates is sensitive to changes in temperature and pressure and once destabilised, hydrates release methane into sediments and ocean and potentially into the atmosphere, creating a positive feedback with climate change. Here we present results from a multi-model study investigating how the methane hydrate inventory dynamically responds to different scenarios of future climate and sea level change. The results indicate that a warming-induced reduction is dominant even when assuming rather extreme rates of sea level rise (up to 20 mm yr(-1)) under moderate warming scenarios (RCP 4.5). Over the next century modelled hydrate dissociation is focussed in the top similar to 100 m of Arctic and Subarctic sediments beneath 30-50 Tg CH4 yr(-1)), although subsequent oxidation in the water column could reduce peak atmospheric release rates to 0.75-1.4 Tg CH4 yr(-1). (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-115
Number of pages11
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Volume367
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2013

Keywords

  • methane hydrate
  • anthropogenic
  • climate change
  • GAS HYDRATE
  • METHANE HYDRATE
  • MARINE-SEDIMENTS
  • HEAT-FLOW
  • SEA-FLOOR
  • TEMPERATURE
  • STABILITY
  • MODELS
  • OCEAN
  • CLATHRATE

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