- Global methane hydrate reservoir dynamics may be sensitive to climate change.
- Methane hydrates are potential contributors to the greenhouse effect. In fact, it is 21-23 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
- When the methane trapped in the hydrate is released, it expands.
- Methane is lighter than CO2, lighter than air. As a result it rises rapidly through the atmosphere up to the lower-density stratosphere. On the positive side methane remains in the atmosphere for only about 10-20 years. CO2 remains in the atmosphere for over 100 years.
- Could damage marine ecosystems.
Naturally, landslides and tsunamis contribute to the release of large amounts of methane. Likewise, extraction of methane hydrates could release excessive amounts of methane.
183 million years ago many of the life forms in sea vanished. It is believed reservoirs of methane trapped in the ocean was released. This depleted oxygen in the ocean. Release of methane caused an increase in atmospheric and deep sea temperature; this warming was called the Latest Paleocene thermal maximum. A link was found between the warming period and methane release.
Proper technology has yet to be developed to cleanly extract methane hydrates.
Recently, China became the fourth country after the USA to develop some form of technological device to extract this potential fuel source.
Nations have yet to develop long-term stable technologies to make a profit.
Since methane hydrate reservoirs are not concentrated at a single area, more digs and extractions must take place in order to obtain an adequate amount.
It also costly to undergo research that could develop new technologies.
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