After the Nord Stream leak
Climate-damaging methane cloud drifts over Europe
After the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines were damaged, a huge methane cloud is now drifting towards the Baltic Sea and Italy. It is not clear how much gas was released.
Bubbling over the Baltic Sea during the night from Monday to Tuesday. Reason: Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines are damaged.
With gas flows already slowing from the two damaged Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, the next problem follows. A huge gas cloud has formed in the Baltic Sea and is now spreading across Europe due to the release of significant amounts of methane into the sea in recent days. This is shown by the assessment of the Integrated Carbon Monitoring System (ICOS).
Significant increases in methane have already been observed at measuring stations in Finland, Sweden and Norway. It is unclear how much gas escaped from the damaged pipes. Satellite images do not provide any information about the mass due to cloudy conditions for the past few days. In fact, Nord Stream 1 and 2 were not operational due to sanctions against Russia, but were filled with gas.
80 times worse than CO₂
“We assume that the wind first carried the methane north to the Finnish archipelago and then back towards Sweden and Norway,” says Stefan Blatt from the Norwegian Institute for Air Research.Spiegel».
Ikos’ statistics show how values rose during the night from Monday to Tuesday when two pipelines were damaged in Finland. Methane levels rose sharply in the Swedish city of Uppsala on Tuesday. Another part of the methane cloud is said to be noisy.Corriere della Sera» Travel through Europe to Italy.
It is not yet clear how badly pipeline leaks affect the environment. It is proven that the greenhouse gas methane is 80 times more harmful to the climate than CO₂. In the worst-case scenario, if all the gas escapes from the pipes, the methane content will “N.T.R» 28.5 million tons of CO₂. The German Federal Environment Agency considers at least 300,000 tons of methane, which corresponds to an environmental impact of 7.5 million tons of CO₂. By comparison: Switzerland produces 43.4 million tons of CO₂ every year.
No immediate danger to humans
The long-term effects of methane release are still unclear. However, since methane does not dissolve in water, water quality should not have deteriorated. Additionally, methane is non-toxic and therefore less harmful to the marine environment.
The methane cloud in Europe is also said to be harmless to humans. However, the spill is a burden to the environment. Also: Pipes can’t be fixed that fast. So Russia can no longer supply gas to Europe in this way for the time being. (jwg)
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