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The global occurrence of methane hydrate in outer continental margins and in polar regions, and the magnitude of the amount of methane sequestered in methane hydrate suggest that methane hydrate is an important component in the global organic carbon cycle. Various versions of this cycle have emphasized the importance of methane hydrate, and in the latest version the role of methane hydrate is considered to be analogous to the workings of an electrical circuit. In this circuit the methane hydrate is a condenser and the consequences of methane hydrate dissociation are depicted as a resistor and inductor, reflecting temperature change and changes in earth surface history. These consequences may have implications for global change including global climate change.

Terra Nova, 14, 302–306, 2002