November 28, 2023

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How Nord Stream pipeline leak is a threat to climate

1 min read

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Natural gas transported through the Nord Stream pipeline has methane
  • The largest of the gas leaks has caused surface disturbances
  • Leaks together were releasing more than 500 metric tons of methane per hour

Europe and Russia are once again at the point of a face-off with leaks in the Nord Stream gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea emerging as the new flashpoint. Europe has said that the leaks are a ‘deliberate act’ aimed at exacerbating a looming energy crisis that has been a result of Russia’s invasion of neigbouring Ukraine.

This week, three separate ruptures were reported to have impacted the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines following suspected explosions in the Baltic sea. The pipelines are meant to carry natural gas from Russia to Europe. While the pipelines were not in full operation (due the Russia-Ukraine war) at the time of the ruptures and the resultant leaks, they still contained natural gas.

While the Nord Stream leaks — deliberate or not — have been linked to the Russia-Ukraine war and Europe’s dependency on Russian oil, larger questions are being raised about the damage that could be caused by the methane spewing from the undersea pipelines to the climate.

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