The new model has proven most accurate in predicting the upward progression of gasses in aquatic methane seepage systems thus far
Methane release from thawing carbon stores in Arctic areas may be a contributor to and accelerator of climate change, with unknown potential. The issue revolves around the fate of Arctic gas hydrates, crystalline structures found in the seabed containing high amounts of carbon, which remain stable in low temperature and high-pressure environments. As the Earth warms, however, more and more of this formerly benign carbon releases into the ocean, with unknown potential to reach the atmosphere. It is crucial that scientists understand the mechanisms behind the transport of such gasses from seabed to atmosphere in order to estimate its impact on the environment.
Pär Jansson from the Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrates, Environment, and Climate (CAGE UiT) is the first author on a recently published article entitled ‘A new numerical model for understanding free and dissolved gas progression towards the atmosphere in aquatic methane seepage systems’ in Limnology and Oceanography Methods. The object of the study is to develop a numerical model accurately predicting the fate of such carbon. While similar models exist, all have shown limitations when it comes to combining factors that may predict the potential for carbon gas to reach the atmosphere.
Jansson et al.’s new model, M2PG1 (see below), is the first able to simulate free and dissolved gas simultaneously, while using multiple bubble sizes and several gas species in both free and dissolved phases. The numerical accuracy of the model was better than 99.9%, which in spite of calculations that are more complex, is comparable with other popular and well-received models. This manuscript represents an important contribution to the current knowledge of gas bubble dynamics in limnic and marine localities, and the presented model proves to be a valuable tool in climate and environment studies.
Text: Jessica Green
Cover Photo: Jessica Green
Model illustration: Pär Jansson