Do ocean frontiers hold key to future energy resources?Most of the world’s marine biodiversity, and untold reserves of energy sources, such as methane gas, are to be found at the frontier between land and deep ocean known as the ‘ocean margin.’ But, to date, we do not know the true extent of these resources, or whether they can ever be commercially exploited. To address these, and related issues, UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and Division of Earth Sciences have joined with the European Commission (EC) to organize a scientific conference on ‘Ocean Margin Research’, to be held in Paris from September 15-17.
The ocean margin is becoming the subject of increasingly intense industrial and scientific investigation. According to some estimates, for example, methane stored as ‘gas hydrate’ (trapped inside frozen water molecules), has an energy potential equivalent to twice the known reserves of oil, coal and gas combined. And these reserves seem to be abundant in the ocean margins of many parts of the world, including Alaska, Antarctica, Europe, the Gulf of Mexico, Japan, and Norway.
|Source||Media advisory No 2003 - 73|
|Editorial Contact:||Peter Coles, UNESCO Bureau of Public Information, Editorial Section. Tel: +33-1 45 68 17 10|
|Publication Date||12 Sep 2003|