New Source of Methane Found in the Arctic

A research team led by a professor from the University of New Hampshire has identified a new source of methane for gas hydrates in the Arctic Ocean. A stable reservoir for abiotic methane was discovered and could impact global climate change.

A research team led by a professor from the University of New Hampshire has identified a new source of methane for gas hydrates in the Arctic Ocean. A stable reservoir for abiotic methane was discovered and could impact global climate change.  

"We've found an example where methane produced at a mid-ocean ridge is locked up in stable, deep water gas hydrate, preventing it from possibly getting out of the seafloor," says lead author Joel Johnson, associate professor of geology at UNH and guest researcher at the Center for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate (CAGE) at UiT The Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø.

The study was largely focused on the Arctic mid-ocean ridge system, which is one of two “ultraslow-spreading ridge regions on Earth. The abiotic methane there is generated by serpentization, a reaction of seawater with hot mantle-derived rocks exposed during slow to ultraslow mid-ocean ridge spreading.”

After taking two cruises in the Fram Strait region, the researchers used a seismic data acquisition system to find the methane hydrate system within the sediments. The team also found that the hydrate system is around two million years old. Such stability, claim the team, can produce methane that is 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide – important implications for climate change. 

Download Center

  • Your Guide to Environmental Metrics that Drive Performance

    Translating sustainability into action starts with implementing the right metrics to assess your environmental risk and performance. Learn how to design metrics that improve your decision-making process and drive enterprise performance.

  • Unpacking ESG: 6 Questions You Were Too Afraid to Ask

    Environmental and Sustainability experts from Arcadis and Cority answer 6 of the most pressing questions EHS professionals have about getting started with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting.

  • 5 Keys to Best-in-Class Chemical Management

    Running a safe chemical program is challenging and complex: from knowing what's on-site to proper handling and disposal - all while navigating regulatory changes. Learn the best ways to mitigate chemical risk, get the most value out of your data, and gain buy-in for a chemical management solution.

  • Streamline Your Air Emissions Management

    See how consolidating all your emissions management functions into one centralized system can help you streamline your operations, more easily maintain compliance, and achieve greater time and cost savings.

  • A Crash Course in Creating the Right Environmental Scoring System

    Learn how to develop the right environmental scoring system so you can easily benchmark performance across all your facilities and gain a holistic view of your environmental programs.

  • Industry Safe