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The World Eyes Yet Another Unconventional Source of Fossil Fuels

Vast quantities of methane hydrates — frozen deposits of natural gas on the sea floor — exist worldwide.

But as experimental drilling moves forward, many experts question the wisdom of exploiting a costly, environmentally risky trove of fossil fuels that will accelerate global warming.

In May of this year, China claimed a breakthrough in tapping an obscure fossil fuel resource: Researchers there managed to suck a steady flow of methane gas out of frozen mud on the seafloor.

Ahla 2bThat same month, Japan did the same.

And in the United States, researchers pulled a core of muddy, methane-soaked ice from the bottom of the Gulf of…

The idea of exploiting this quirky fuel source would have been considered madness a couple of decades ago — both wildly expensive and…

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