Clathrates, or methane hydrates. And Japan seems to have worked out how to drill and extract from them.
The state-owned oil and gas company JOGMEC said an exploration ship had successfully drilled 300 metres below the seabed into deposits of methane hydrate, an ice-like solid that stores gas molecules but requires great skill to extract safely.
There\’s vast amounts of this stuff around, probably twice all the deposits of other fossil fuels. Thuws, of course, there will be those who say that we must not use it to save Gaia:
The risk of methane leakage into the atmosphere could be a major snag. The US Geological Survey says the gas has ten times the global warming impact of carbon dioxide.
Hmm. However, there\’s a snag here. One of the things that gets people burbling about \”runaway climate change\” is that warming seas will lead to the natural release of all that methane. There are people burbling that the deposits under the Arctic Ocean are bubbling away right now. And it\’s very much true that the release of methane is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than mere CO2.
The answer therefore is to go drill this stuff up, before it is naturally released, burn it to turn it from methane into CO2 and thus reduce emissions by that factor of 10.