The Southwest Has a Methane Hotspot as Big as Delaware

NASA and the University of Michigan have discovered a hotspot which contributes the largest concentration of the greenhouse gas methane in the entire country. And it's 2,500 square miles in size.

In fact, the scientists who found the spot were so shocked by the observation that they initially thought it was a mistake, "We didn't focus on it because we weren't sure if it was a true signal or an instrument error," explained NASA's Christian Frankenberg.


So where's all the gas coming from? Apparently, its old fossil fuel infrastructure is to blame. The researchers specifically pinpoint "leaks in natural gas production and processing equipment in New Mexico's San Juan Basin, which is the most active coalbed methane production area in the country."

It's a compelling argument to double-check our existing energy infrastructures for emissions—as well as getting excited about the future of energy. [AGU via Motherboard]

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