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Effects of climate change on methane emissions from seafloor sediments in the Arctic Ocean: A review

James, Rachael H. and Bousquet, Philippe and Bussmann, Ingeborg and Haeckel, Matthias and Kipfer, Rolf and Leifer, Ira and Niemann, Helge and Ostrovsky, Ilia and Piskozub, Jacek and Rehder, Gregor and Treude, Tina and Vielstädte, Lisa and Greinert, Jens. (2016) Effects of climate change on methane emissions from seafloor sediments in the Arctic Ocean: A review. Limnology and Oceanography, 61 (S1). pp. 283-299.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/52214/

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Abstract

Large quantities of methane are stored in hydrates and permafrost within shallow marine sediments in the Arctic Ocean. These reservoirs are highly sensitive to climate warming, but the fate of methane released from sediments is uncertain. Here, we review the principal physical and biogeochemical processes that regulate methane fluxes across the seabed, the fate of this methane in the water column, and potential for its release to the atmosphere. We find that, at present, fluxes of dissolved methane are significantly moderated by anaerobic and aerobic oxidation of methane. If methane fluxes increase then a greater proportion of methane will be transported by advection or in the gas phase, which reduces the efficiency of the methanotrophic sink. Higher freshwater discharge to Arctic shelf seas may increase stratification and inhibit transfer of methane gas to surface waters, although there is some evidence that increased stratification may lead to warming of sub-pycnocline waters, increasing the potential for hydrate dissociation. Loss of sea-ice is likely to increase wind speeds and sea-air exchange of methane will consequently increase. Studies of the distribution and cycling of methane beneath and within sea ice are limited, but it seems likely that the sea-air methane flux is higher during melting in seasonally ice-covered regions. Our review reveals that increased observations around especially the anaerobic and aerobic oxidation of methane, bubble transport, and the effects of ice cover, are required to fully understand the linkages and feedback pathways between climate warming and release of methane from marine sediments.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Geowissenschaften > Geochemie Stoffkreisläufe (Lehmann)
UniBasel Contributors:Niemann, Helge
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:American Society of Limnology and Oceanography
ISSN:0024-3590
e-ISSN:1939-5590
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Identification Number:
Last Modified:30 Oct 2017 10:37
Deposited On:30 Oct 2017 10:37

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