Description

Video created by PolarTREC teacher Bill Schmoker onboard the International Continental Shelf Survey. This was the first piston core that returned a gas hydrate sample in the core cutter. The hydrate was about 20 feet beneath the sea floor. Once on deck it began fizzing with escaping methane. Gas hydrates turn out to be very widespread throughout the world's oceans and in permafrost areas. Studies suggest that there may be twice as much carbon stored in gas hydrates than in all other forms of fossil fuels on Earth combined. A growing concern among climate change scientists is the potential of releasing methane into the atmosphere if gas hydrates melt due to global warming. This could create a positive feedback loop because methane is a very effective greenhouse gas (a positive feedback tends to increase the process causing change.) So the worry is that more methane in the atmosphere could cause warming, which would melt more gas hydrates leading to more methane & more warming, etc. There are lots of other pieces to the global climate change puzzle but it was interesting to see this one component in person.

Video

Resource Details

External Link: Watch on YouTube
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Region

Arctic

Completion time

Less than 1 period

Grade Level

All Ages

Permission

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