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Abstract

Scientific knowledge of natural clathrate hydrates has grown enormously over the past decade, with spectacular new findings of large exposures of complex hydrates on the sea floor, the development of new tools for examining the solid phase in situ, significant progress in modeling natural hydrate systems, and the discovery of exotic hydrates associated with sea floor venting of liquid CO. Major unresolved questions remain about the role of hydrates in response to climate change today, and correlations between the hydrate reservoir of Earth and the stable isotopic evidence of massive hydrate dissociation in the geologic past. The examination of hydrates as a possible energy resource is proceeding apace for the subpermafrost accumulations in the Arctic, but serious questions remain about the viability of marine hydrates as an economic resource. New and energetic explorations by nations such as India and China are quickly uncovering large hydrate findings on their continental shelves.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.marine.010908.163824
2009-01-15
2024-04-19
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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