Amid the war in Ukraine and the growing tensions between Russia and the West, the leak caused by the Nord Stream pipeline in the Baltic Sea is making a lot of experts concerned. There are even three major pipeline leaks, releasing methane into large amounts of water.
Methane can be even more impactful on the world’s climate than carbon dioxide (CO2), another compound that experts are concerned about. David McCabe, who’s a senior scientist at Clean Air Task Force, is also one of those who are extremely concerned about the leak of the Nord Stream pipeline.
Given that, over twenty years, a ton of methane has a climate impact more than 80 times that of CO2, the potential for a massive and highly damaging emission event is very worrisome,
There are a number of uncertainties but, if these pipelines fail, the impact to the climate will be disastrous and could even be unprecedented.
The pipelines affected were NOT in operation
It may be good news that none of the pipelines affected were in operation, as CNN informs. But even so, they still contained pressurized gas, and the impact on the environment might be awful.
It’s still unclear what exactly caused the leaks, but one of the theories is that it represented an act of sabotage, considering the tensions between Russia and the US/Europe. Underwater explosions were detected by seismologists.
The operator Nord Stream AG of the pipeline explained, as CNN quotes:
The destruction that occurred on the same day simultaneously on three strings of the offshore gas pipelines of the Nord Stream system is unprecedented,
It is not yet possible to estimate the timing of the restoration of the gas transport infrastructure.
The leaking pipeline is placed in the same underwater system that allows the transportation of natural gas from Russia to Europe.