User Tools

    To create and edit articles, please register and log-in

Main Menu

Main menu
Click categories to expand

A-Z listingplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigA-Z listing

This is an alphabetical index of all content pages.

Other categories



Also see

Importance Ratings
Curator's rationale

Wikenigma supports:

Feeds etc
rss / xml feed
sitemap file
A-Z listing (archived)

Auto-Translate Site
Indexed under : Earth Sciences

Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of Unknowns Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of the Unknown

Methane hydrates

Mehane hydrates - a.k.a. methane clathrates - are an important part of global methane storage (see Global Atmospheric Methane Cycleplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigGlobal Atmospheric Methane Cycle

Methane is roughly 30 times more potent as a Greenhouse Gas (GG) than CO2. Over the last 30 years, the measured levels in the atmosphere have been steadily rising, - maintaining a clearly defined seasonal cycle.

"Methane is an importa…

They are commonly found in permafrost deposits and on and under the sea floor, being a frozen, naturally‐occurring, and highly‐concentrated form of methane linked with water molecules.

For stability, they require low temperatures (typically < 15 °C) and moderately high pressures. When warmed, the trapped methane is released and ultimately enters the atmosphere - where it is a potent 'greenhouse' gas. This greenhouse effect leads to higher global temperatures which in turn releases more methane from the hydrates. Thus, they may be a profound factor in the case of positive-feedback 'runaway' global warming.

Some climatologists suggest that runaway methane hydrate release was responsible for the 6°C global temperature rise at the end of the Permian period, which caused mass extinctions. [ ref. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, volume 18, issue 7, pp358-365, ]

Although the science behind the storage and release mechanisms are well understood, at present the quantity of naturally stored methane hydrate worldwide is unknown. With expert estimates varying by a factor of more than 30 times.

Current midrange estimates put the global quantity at around 2.4 trillion tonnes of CH4 [ Source : Review of Geophysics Volume 55, Issue1 ]

These uncertainties make accurate calculations of potential global warming models considerably more problematic.

    Share this page :

Dear reader : Do you have any suggestions for the site's content?

Ideas for new topics, and suggested additions / corrections for old ones, are always welcome.

If you have skills or interests in a particular field, and have suggestions for Wikenigma, get in touch !

Or, if you'd like to become a regular contributor . . . request a login password. Registered users can edit the entire content of the site, and also create new pages.

( The 'Notes for contributors' section in the main menu has further information and guidelines etc.)

Automatic Translation

You are currently viewing an auto-translated version of Wikenigma

Please be aware that no automatic translation engines are 100% accurate, and so the auto-translated content will very probably feature errors and omissions.

Nevertheless, Wikenigma hopes that the translated content will help to attract a wider global audience.

Show another (random) article