The United Nations Environment Programme via its collaborating center in Norway, GRID-Arendal, is undertaking an assessment of the state of the knowledge of methane gas hydrates. Global reservoirs of methane have long been the topic of scienti?c discussion in the context of environmental issues such as natural forces of climate change and as a potential energy resource for development. The rapidly evolving scienti?c and technological knowledge related to methane hydrates makes these formations increasingly prospective to economic development.
In addition, global demand for energy continues to rise and will continue to outpace supply for the foreseeable future resulting in pressure to expand development activities. Understanding the intricate links between methane hydrates and 1) their role in natural systems including the global carbon cycle, 2) their sensitivities to climate variations such as global warming, 3) the key drivers (e.g. economic drivers; resource scarcity drivers; geopolitical drivers) associated with their evaluation as a possible source of natural gas, and 4) the environmental and societal impacts of possible development, are key factors in making good decisions that promote sustainable development.
The Global Outlook on Methane Gas Hydrates aims to provide a multithematic overview of the key aspects of the current methane hydrate debate for both the land-based Arctic deposits and those in the marine and lacustrine environment. Although based on the latest scienti?c work produced by leading experts, the style and language are designed for non-experts. This Outlook will span a range of themes that include: the history of gas hydrates science, natural systems, human impacts, exploration and extraction technologies, sustainable economics and resource ef?ciency and policy perspectives and challenges.
Visit the web site at www.methanegashydrates.org