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What is MOCA? 

The MOCA project will enhance understanding of the present atmospheric effects of methane released from dissociation of gas hydrates in Arctic seabed sediments, and will also inform on the future potential impacts in a warming climate on decadal to centennial timescales. 

Methane hydrates (MH) in ocean seabed sediments are a potential source of methane (CH4) to the atmosphere, where CH4 has potential to act as a powerful greenhouse gas. Recent scientific results studies show diversity in the flux of CH4 that actually reaches the atmosphere. MH are potentially susceptible to ocean warming, which could trigger a positive feedback resulting in rapid climate warming. 

MOCA is funded by the Norwegian Research Council and will apply advanced measurements and modelling to quantify the amount and present atmospheric impact of CH4 originating from MH. Furthermore, the project will investigate potential future climate effects from destabilisation of MH deposits in a warming climate, and will focus on scenarios in 2050 and 2100. 

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Description of the Article

Summer campaigns in MOCA: ship and aricraft measurements

This summer, two measurement field campaigns are taking place in the Arctic.

1st period at Research Vessel Helmer Hanssen

This is a result of close collaboration between MOCA and CAGE and UiT.
The ship left Longyearbyen on 19 June, and has been outside Prince Karl’s Forland since then doing transects in the most relevant areas. Follow the ship here:

Ocean and sub-sea measurements and activities:
The CAGE-UiT group is measuring in the water column and at sea floor analyzing e.g. CH4 in the ocean. During this first period GEOMAR and USGS are also at the ship; GEOMAR is studying bubble activity, and USGS are using a Picarro (CH4/CO2) and measuring in the surface water and at 2 different height levels at the ship. The crew on the ship will try to collect gas hydrate samples from different sediment cores to be sent to NILU for further analysis.

Atmospheric measurements and activities:
At Helmer Hanssen there is high time resolution of CH4, CO2, CO (Picarro), flask sampler collecting 1-6 samples per day (depending on the location) for isotope analysis and trace gases as ethane. All Picarro data are transferred to NILU every night and followed closely by the scientists at NILU.

2nd period of coordinated ship and aircraft campaign
A flight campaign is taking place during the first week of July, complementary to the ongoing ship campaign. We are using a large and very well equipped aircraft, ( operated by the colleagues particularly from the University of Cambridge and University of Manchester. Flights tracks are above the ship and ocean outside Prince Karl’s Forland, there will be contact between the pilots and the ship. The aircraft will make attempts to fly as low as ca 100 ft.

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 Content related queries:  Cathrine Lund Myhre (clm 'at'