Nord Stream Leak: Should We Fear the Dangerous Methane Cloud Hovering Over Europe?

Nord Stream Leak: Should We Fear the Dangerous Methane Cloud Hovering Over Europe?

Europe turned its eyes to the sky: methane leaks from the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines could worsen pollution in Europe. Reviews La Dépêche du Midi.

There is still talk of the explosion of gas pipelines Nord Stream, under the Baltic Sea. The damage to the two pipelines created a pool of gas that moved in Europe according to the winds. According to the United Nations Environment Program, this is likely the largest methane release ever recorded anywhere in the world. It remains to be seen what the consequences will be for both humans and the environment. Reviews La Dépêche du Midi.

How much gas is in the atmosphere?

A total of four Nord Stream 1 and 2 leaks, releasing tens of thousands of tons of methane, were discovered off the Danish island of Bornholm. Researchers from GHGSat, which uses satellites to monitor methane emissions, looked at leak rates from one of the four breakpoints: approximately 22,920 kilograms of methane leaked every hour from the gas pipeline. This equates to burning about 630,000 pounds (or 285 kilograms) of coal per hour.

Measurement stations in Finland, Sweden and Norway have detected a significant increase in methane in the atmosphere. according toICOS (research infrastructure that monitors greenhouse gas fluxes), the proportion of methane in the cloud formed after violent eruptions is estimated to be “equivalent to the volume of methane emissions for a full year for a city the size of Paris or a country like Denmark.”

Where is this cloud headed?

According to the Norwegian Institute for Air Research, citing the German newspaper Spiegel, scientists “assume that the winds initially carried methane north to the Finnish archipelago and then branched out to Sweden and Norway.” After that, the cloud had split into several parts. Part of the flowing methane went towards southern Europe and especially towards Italy, as explained by him Corriere della Sera.

What are the consequences for humans?

In the long run, it’s hard to know the consequences of such leaks. For the immediate health of humans, this cloud of methane is not dangerous to health … unless this gas is very concentrated in the atmosphere and takes out oxygen. Then it can cause suffocation.

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Nord Stream Leak: Dangerous methane clouds over Europe

Fear is above all environmental. However, this leak is a major problem and with good reason, methane is a potent greenhouse gas: “In 100 years, the atmosphere warms about 30 times more than carbon dioxide. The size and timing of the leak puts pressure on climate action, since the critical years To slow climate change now,” the Icos Institute explains.

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