Climate change has shaped Earth’s future in such a way that it’s hard to ignore. Recent study unveils the Arctic’s at its worst.
A team of researchers from Skoltech succeeded in developing and conducting experiments measuring gas permeability under certain situations for ice-containing sediments simulating permafrost. The results are genuinely intriguing yet shocking.
Here is what you need to know.
Arctic Simulation Unveils New Data
The researchers aimed to examine a previous issue of gas permeability variations in hydrate- and ice-saturated sand samples during thawing and freezing and as gas hydrates dissociate and form. As complicated as it might sound, in fact, things are pretty clear.
What the team discovered can be helpful in testing and modelling methods for gas production from Arctic reservoirs. But, we can trace methane emissions in high latitudes, as well.
The team developed an experimental setup for the recent study that would let them examine and test different samples simulating permafrost under specific temperature and pressure conditions.
“The data we got can be used in testing methods of gas extraction in permafrost areas, including from hydrates, and in mapping areas with high permeability in permafrost for methane emissions studies in the Arctic,” explains the co-author of the study, Evgeny Chuvilin.
Moreover, the new approach indicates a high chance of raising permeability paired with dissociation of gas hydrates in permafrost. Such a thing is a possible scenario, especially due to the current warming trend in the Arctic.
What is permafrost?
Permafrost is very diverse, even if it looks like it’s permanent and stable. Many things can influence the permafrost, including the composition of the frozen ground, temperature, or pressure.
But, here’s a thing you probably didn’t know: permafrost are incredibly gassy. It could comprise a lot of natural gas in the form of hydrates.
The recent study raises awareness about the Arctic’s current situation. Until researchers investigate the methane case more, we should support their work.