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Predicting future methane release from the seabed due to Arctic warming and sea ice retreat


Project Description

Project Rationale:
Methane hydrate is an ice-like substance that is stable at high pressures and low temperatures and is present beneath the seabed on continental margins. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas; its release may have contributed to climate change in the geological record. Arctic ocean temperatures have been rising rapidly over the last few decades and are predicted to rise over the next century. Methane release may be linked to hydrate dissociation in response to ocean warming. Until now, attempts to understand this process have been limited to using simplified coarse resolution climate models, or focussing on small regions. This project aims to extend a more sophisticated high-resolution modelling approach across the entire Arctic, specifically to the Arctic shelves and examine erosion of the subsea and coastal permafrost as a potential source for methane. The project will address the impact of sea ice decline on the erosion rates and ocean warming, aiming to quantify the amount of subsurface methane release over the next 100 years and to help develop understanding of the processes governing hydrate dissociation and their impacts on climate. A further aim is to develop a methane sub-model for incorporation into climate prediction models.

Funding Notes

You can apply for fully-funded studentships (stipend and fees) from INSPIRE if you:
Are a UK or EU national.
Have no restrictions on how long you can stay in the UK.
Have been 'ordinarily resident' in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the project.

Please click View Website for more information on eligibilty and how to apply

References

Biastoch, A., T. Treude, L. H. Rupke, U. Riebesell, C. Roth, E. B. Burwicz, W. Park, M. Latif, C. W. Boning, G. Madec and K. Wallmann, Rising Arctic Ocean temperatures cause gas hydrate destabilization and ocean acidification, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L08602, doi:10.1029/2011GL047222, 2011.
Ivanov, V., P. Maslov, Y., Aksenov and A. Coward, Shelf-basin exchange in the Laptev Sea in the warming climate: a model study. Geophys. & Astrophys. Fluid Dyn., 109(3), 254-280, 10.1080/03091929.2015.10257762015.
Marin-Moreno, H., T. A. Minshull, G. K. Westbrook, B. Sinha and S. Sarkar, The response of methane hydrate beneath the seabed offshore Svalbard to ocean warming during the next three centuries, Geophys. Res. Lett., 40, 5159-5163, doi: 10.1002/grl.50985, 2013.

How good is research at University of Southampton in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 68.62

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