Energy from glaciers

Some areas covered by the biome of the tundra contain huge oil fields. In 1997, for instance, 162 million tons of oil were extracted from the subsurface of Siberia. Western Siberia alone contains over one half of the oil reserves of all Russia.
Another important product supplied by the Russian tundra is methane. 220 billion cubic metres of gas are extracted every year, large part of which is channelled to Europe through methane pipelines measuring thousands of kilometres long. The methane that is used in Italy comes just from such ice-cold lands.
The frozen soil of the tundra could supply a new source of energy: methane hydrates. They are composed of water and methane molecules, mixed and frozen together. They are contained in ocean sediments and in the Arctic permafrost. Hydrates contain a high concentration of methane, which could be extracted by a sort of “defrosting”. This operation is still difficult to carry out, but is very interesting because a cubic metre of methane hydrate develops the same energy as by burning 135 kg of oil.

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