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Assessing the benthic response to climate-driven methane hydrate destabilisation: state of the art and future modelling perspectives

Assessing the benthic response to climate-driven methane hydrate destabilisation: state of the art and future modelling perspectives
Assessing the benthic response to climate-driven methane hydrate destabilisation: state of the art and future modelling perspectives
Modern observations and geological records suggest that anthropogenic ocean warming could destabilise marine methane hydrate, resulting in methane release from the seafloor to the ocean-atmosphere, and potentially triggering a positive feedback on global temperature. On the decadal to millennial timescales over which hydrate-sourced methane release is hypothesized to occur, several processes consuming methane below and above the seafloor have the potential to slow, reduce or even prevent such release. Yet, the modulating effect of these processes on seafloor methane emissions remains poorly quantified, and the full impact of benthic methane consumption on ocean carbon chemistry is still to be explored. In this review, we document the dynamic interplay between hydrate thermodynamics, benthic transport and biogeochemical reaction processes, that ultimately determines the impact of hydrate destabilization on seafloor methane emissions and the ocean carbon cycle. Then, we provide an overview of how state-of-the-art numerical models treat such processes and examine their ability to quantify hydrate-sourced methane emissions from the seafloor, as well as their impact on benthic biogeochemical cycling. We discuss the limitations of current models in coupling the dynamic interplay between hydrate thermodynamics and the different reaction and transport processes that control the efficiency of the benthic sink, and highlight their shortcoming in assessing the full implication of methane release on ocean carbon cycling. Finally, we recommend that current Earth system models explicitly account for hydrate driven benthic-pelagic exchange fluxes to capture potential hydrate-carbon cycle-climate feed-backs.
1996-1073
de la Fuente, Maria
1f951d34-a8e3-4018-a564-b852fa00a3f7
Arndt, Sandra
1b1fec47-148d-4084-84e9-2abe81d70b91
Marin Moreno, Hector
5c07721e-2283-4cdc-8a2f-0ea32b8255f8
Minshull, Timothy
bf413fb5-849e-4389-acd7-0cb0d644e6b8
de la Fuente, Maria
1f951d34-a8e3-4018-a564-b852fa00a3f7
Arndt, Sandra
1b1fec47-148d-4084-84e9-2abe81d70b91
Marin Moreno, Hector
5c07721e-2283-4cdc-8a2f-0ea32b8255f8
Minshull, Timothy
bf413fb5-849e-4389-acd7-0cb0d644e6b8

de la Fuente, Maria, Arndt, Sandra, Marin Moreno, Hector and Minshull, Timothy (2022) Assessing the benthic response to climate-driven methane hydrate destabilisation: state of the art and future modelling perspectives. Energies, 15 (9), [3307]. (doi:10.3390/en15093307).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Modern observations and geological records suggest that anthropogenic ocean warming could destabilise marine methane hydrate, resulting in methane release from the seafloor to the ocean-atmosphere, and potentially triggering a positive feedback on global temperature. On the decadal to millennial timescales over which hydrate-sourced methane release is hypothesized to occur, several processes consuming methane below and above the seafloor have the potential to slow, reduce or even prevent such release. Yet, the modulating effect of these processes on seafloor methane emissions remains poorly quantified, and the full impact of benthic methane consumption on ocean carbon chemistry is still to be explored. In this review, we document the dynamic interplay between hydrate thermodynamics, benthic transport and biogeochemical reaction processes, that ultimately determines the impact of hydrate destabilization on seafloor methane emissions and the ocean carbon cycle. Then, we provide an overview of how state-of-the-art numerical models treat such processes and examine their ability to quantify hydrate-sourced methane emissions from the seafloor, as well as their impact on benthic biogeochemical cycling. We discuss the limitations of current models in coupling the dynamic interplay between hydrate thermodynamics and the different reaction and transport processes that control the efficiency of the benthic sink, and highlight their shortcoming in assessing the full implication of methane release on ocean carbon cycling. Finally, we recommend that current Earth system models explicitly account for hydrate driven benthic-pelagic exchange fluxes to capture potential hydrate-carbon cycle-climate feed-backs.

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Accepted/In Press date: 28 April 2022
Published date: 1 May 2022

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 468473
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/468473
ISSN: 1996-1073
PURE UUID: dea56048-fd35-4be0-9848-a2d0bdf3fcd8
ORCID for Timothy Minshull: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8202-1379

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Date deposited: 16 Aug 2022 16:37
Last modified: 17 Aug 2022 01:36

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Contributors

Author: Maria de la Fuente
Author: Sandra Arndt
Author: Hector Marin Moreno

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