Haoyi Yao defended her thesis in cyberspace, due to strict social distancing restrictions implemented by the Norwegian government to tackle the spread of the coronavirus. Both the trial lecture and the defense went ahead as planned March 26, 2020, thanks to digital technology.
Text: Maja Sojtaric
“We learn from the past and study history to help predict the future,” says Haoyi Yao, whos Ph.D. focuses on three key topics: methane emission history, Arctic cold seeps, and biogeochemical evidence.
Most people are aware that methane is a powerful greenhouse gas. More and more people are also becoming aware that there is a huge amount of methane in the form of methane hydrate in the ocean. These methane hydrates are not only potential sources for methane emission but also potential energy sources.
“We are all experiencing global warming, and the Arctic is warming faster than the rest of the world. The Arctic Ocean also hosts a large amount of methane hydrate. This Ph.D. thesis focused on two of the hydrate sites in the Arctic. We used biogeochemical tools to study these two sites to find out was there methane emission in the past? Were these emissions related to methane hydrate dissociation? If yes, what were the drivers for the hydrate dissociation?” says Yao in a statement
She defended her thesis on a live stream Thursday 26, March 2020.
The trial lecture «Greenhouse gases and future climate change: The potential contribution of methane» is available in a recorded version online.
The thesis «Reconstruction of past and present methane emission in the Arctic cold seeps using biogeochemical proxies» can be read via the UiT The Arctic University of Norway’s open repository Munin.