Large gas hydrate accumulations occur on the continental margins surrounding the Svalbard archipelago and in the Barents Sea. Their occurrence may be linked to seabed emissions of methane gas, however, a clear causative link is missing. The range of geological settings in this region includes shallow gas hydrates at the outcrop limit of the gas-hydrate stability zone, deep-sea hydrates in areas of considerable subsurface leakage and shelf-sea hydrates fed by vast petroleum systems. A better understanding of these accumulations with respect to their sensitivity to climate change in this environmentally challenged part of the Arctic region is globally relevant and forms one of the working premises for the newly established Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate (CAGE) at the University of Tromsř. The CoE is funded by the Norwegian Research Council for a decade to study methane release from hydrates beneath the Arctic Ocean in an effort to understand potential impacts on marine environments and global climate systems.


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