In the public's imagination, hydrates are seen as either a potential new source of energy to be exploited as the world uses up its reserves of oil and gas or as a major environmental hazard. Scientists, however, have expressed great uncertainty as to the global volume of hydrates and have reached little agreement on how they might be exploited. Both of these uncertainties can be reduced by a better understanding of how hydrates are held within sediments. There are conflicting ideas as to whether hydrates are disseminated within selected lithologies or trapped within fractures comparable to mineral lodes. To resolve this, hydrates have to be examined at all scales ranging from using seismics to microscopic studies. Their position within sediments also influences the stability of methane hydrate in responding to pressure and temperature and how the released gas might transfer to the ocean, atmosphere, or to a transport mechanism for recovery. These results also run parallel with the studies of carbon dioxide hydrate, which is being considered as a potential sequestion medium
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