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MOCA – against climate warming

Del av logo for MOCA-prosjektet

”MOCA- Methane Emissions from the Arctic OCean to the Atmosphere: Present and Future Climate Effects” is a new project at NILU.

Cathrine Lund Myhre
Cathrine Lund Myhre, Senior Scientist at NILU and in lead of the project Photo: Ingar Næss

The project started 1. October 2013, and is funded by the Norwegian Research Council. The project will enhance understanding of the present atmospheric effects of methane released from dissociation of gas hydrates in Arctic seabed sediments, and will also inform on the future potential impacts in a warming climate on decadal to centennial timescales.

Methane hydrates (MH) in ocean seabed sediments are a potential source of methane (CH4) to the atmosphere, where CH4 has potential to act as a powerful greenhouse gas. However, current scientific results show diversity in the flux of CH4 that actually reaches the atmosphere. MH are potentially susceptible to ocean warming, which could trigger a positive feedback resulting in rapid climate warming.

In MOCA we will apply advanced and comprehensive measurement programs and modeling to quantify the amount and present atmospheric impact of CH4 originating from MH. Furthermore, the project will investigate potential future climate effects from destabilization of MH deposits in a warming climate, and will focus on scenarios in 2050 and 2100. MOCA is an interdisciplinary project that utilizes measurement at the sea floor, in the ocean and atmosphere and powerful modelling tools.

The project is lead by NILU (Cathrine Lund Myhre) and Norwegian collaborators are the University of Tromsø and the new Centre of Excellence (CoE) named CAGE, and Cicero (Center for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo). There are also collaborators from 7 institutes in Europe and the US. The total budget of the project is ca 23 mill NOK.