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Scientists are taking to the skies to study methane emissions in the Arctic. In a series of more than 400 airplane rides in 2017, researchers with NASA’s Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment discovered 2 million methane hotspots.

The findings point to one of the more disturbing aspects of climate change in the Arctic as frozen soil thaws, releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Frankly, I’m shook.

The team documented their findings in a paper published in Geophysical Research Letters on Monday. They equipped planes with infrared technology that can detect methane hotspots, which the team defined as an area with 3,000 parts per million of methane in the air. In total, the scientists covered 20,000 square miles of land and took roughly 1 billion observations.

This technology has been used to find methane leaks from manmade infrastructure such as gas plants, but this is the first time this type of technology has been used in the Arctic, where scientists always struggle to gather observational data because, well, it’s cold and remote.

The NASA scientists discovered that most of these hotspots are closest to bodies of water, which are commonly where hotspots are found since flowing water can cut into frozen soils. But the researchers found a curious quirk: Most hotspot concentrated within 44 yards of waterways, a threshold they’re still working to understand. They we

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