Gas Hydrate: Resource or Hazard?
In deep marine sediments and arctic permafrost, methane and other natural gases combine with water to form an ice-like solid known as natural gas hydrate. If the gas from the gas hydrate can be harvested, it is a source of energy like oil or natural gas. However, if the gas hydrate melts in the sedimentary formation, it produces water and gas causing the sediment to lose strength, which can trigger slope failures and borehole collapse. If methane released from gas hydrate escapes into the atmosphere, since it is a powerful greenhouse gas it could cause warming of the climate.