NURP banner graphic
Home About Research Technology Centers News Funding Library
Web Postings

NURP and CMDL's "Methane Hydrates and Climate Workshop" was a Success!
This story entered on 25th Jun, 2004 07:00:00 AM PST

NURP and CMDL partnered to organize the first ever workshop to bring together NOAA carbon and climate modelers and measurers with methane hydrate experts. The workshop was of great interest to several federal agencies and was co-sponsored by NOAA (NURP and CMDL), the Department of Energy (National Energy Technology Lab), and the Department of Interior (MMS and USGS).

Considering the presentations and discussions, the following position statement summarizes the meeting's intention and vision for the future of methane hydrate and climate research.

The ocean floor is by far the largest sink for carbon on the planet, and the largest source of methane introduced in the oceans. Methane hydrates are a small part of this global reservoir that leaks into the sea through a variety of poorly described and understood mechanisms and pathways, from volcano-like vents to slow wide-area seeps. On a daily basis, most of the methane introduced into the sea does not reach the atmosphere, due to mixing and intense biological oxidation in the water column. However, occasionally in earth's history, massive releases of methane from hydrates may overwhelm this biological process, thus introducing vast amounts of methane over centuries -- enough to significantly increase methane in the atmosphere and change global climate. We need to improve our understanding of both (1) the routine flux and fates of methane emissions from the seafloor and how they impact the global oceanic carbon cycle, and (2) the geologic record of past abrupt climate change and the potential role that methane from the sea may have played.

Contact information
Name: Andy Shepard
Tel: (910) 962-2446

NURP logo Home   About   Research   Technology   Centers   News   Funding   Library
NOAA's Undersea Research Program
1315 East-West Highway, R/NURP - Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: (301) 734-1000  Fax: (301) 713-1967  
bullet  Contact Info bullet  Privacy Policy bullet  Disclaimer bullet Site Index
NOAA logo
Updated: January 20, 2005