Methane Hydrates in Quaternary Climate Change: The Clathrate Gun Hypothesis
Like most Earth scientists, we are intrigued and amazed by recent discoveries from ice‐core and marine sediments that global
climate and the ocean‐atmosphere system can abruptly switch from glacial to near‐interglacial temperatures within decades.
Remarkably, this happened many times during and at the end of the last glacial episode, causing enormous disruptions in the
global biosphere. Such discoveries are double‐edged, however. Along with the excitement they prompt comes a grand challenge:
their explanation. We, and others, have wondered what factors can possibly drive the climate so far and so fast. Where does
the energy come from? Understanding such phenomena becomes paramount in a world with increasing concern about the potential
role of humans on global climate change.
Citation: Kennett, J. P.,