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US methane “hotspot” is snapshot of local pollution

The giant methane cloud spotted by satellite over the U.S. Southwest that made national headlines in 2014 wasn’t a persistent, undiscovered “hotspot” as first thought, but the result of a nightly atmospheric condition and topography that trapped industrial and natural emissions of the potent greenhouse gas near the ground in the basin overnight, according to new research published in the journal Elementa by CIRES and NOAA.

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