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Methane Hydrates: Environmental Armageddon or Energy Windfall?

A chunk of methane hydrate ice burning Buried deep along the continental shelves of many of the world's oceans is an intriguing, recently uncovered, hydrocarbon source: methane hydrates. Although the full extent of these deposits is unknown, preliminary estimates suggest they could represent the equivalent of a 200 to 1,000-year global supply of natural gas. Significant deposits have already been identified of both coasts of the United States as well as arctic Alaska.
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