New study could help pinpoint hidden helium gas fields — and avert a global supply crisis

Helium — essential for many medical and industrial processes — is in critically short supply worldwide. Production is also associated with significant carbon emissions, contributing to climate change. This study provides a new concept in gas field formation to explain why, in rare places, helium accumulates naturally in high concentrations just beneath the Earth’s surface. The findings could help locate new reservoirs of carbon-free helium — and potentially also hydrogen.