from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Biology Having a latticelike structure or appearance: clathrate foliage.
- adj. Chemistry Of or relating to inclusion complexes in which molecules of one substance are completely enclosed within the crystal structure of another.
- n. Chemistry A clathrate compound, such as urea.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. having a lattice-like structure
- adj. of an inclusion complex in which molecules of one compound are enclosed within the crystal structure of another
- n. a clathrate compound
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Shaped like a lattice; cancellate.
- adj. Having the surface marked with raised lines resembling a lattice, as many shells.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- In botany and zoology, latticed; divided like latticework; specifically, in entomology, clathrose. Also clathroid.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. designating or relating to a compound in which one component is physically enclosed within the crystal structure of another
- adj. having a latticelike structure pierced with holes or windows
Methane hydrate is a form of water ice that contains a large amount of methane within its crystal structure, called a clathrate hydrate.
That's called a clathrate --- Latin for a "cage, trellis, or grating" -- and all kinds of things can be held in there.
Another method involves exchanging the methane molecules in the "clathrate" structure with carbon dioxide.
The clathrate gun hyopthesis has received attention lately, although it's been benevolently referred to as a "methane burp" rather than an apocalyptic release of methane that hammered in the nails of past mass extinctions.
Although not related to Prof Ryskin's "Methane Driven Oceanic Eruption", the clathrate gun hypothesis works on the basis that rises in sea temperatures can trigger the sudden release of methane from methane clathrate compounds buried in seabeds and permafrost.
The methane itself is a powerful greenhouse gas and this leads to further temperature rises and methane clathrate destabilisation -- in effect initiating a runaway process as irreversible, once started, as the firing of a gun.
There is stronger evidence that runaway methane clathrate breakdown may have caused drastic alteration of the ocean environment and the atmosphere of earth on a number of occasions in the past.
Güllük et al. 1998 also rebutted Jaworowski on contamination, stating that Jaworowski et al. 1992, 1994 suggested that CO2 measurements may be subject to fractionation due to clathrate formation and destruction.
Just a bit is from evaporating clathrate so far but remember the nature of the exponential…….
As the polar ground thaws and the sea beds warm the subsurface clathrate starts to melt.