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In 2008, scientists discovered methane bubbling up from the seabed off the coast of Norway, raising new concerns that climate change could lead to large escapes of the greenhouse gas.

Now, scientists report in a new paper that there is no definitive proof that human-driven climate change caused the recent methane seepage into waters near the Svalbard archipelago, although they can't rule it out entirely, either. The findings underscore the need for additional research of the climate-methane link in the Arctic, said Christian Berndt, a professor at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel and lead author of the study, released last week in Science.

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