Huge amounts of methane have been released into the air from recent explosions in the Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea, satellite images reveal.
Although they do not have exact figures for the leakage in the Nord Stream pipelines, researchers say they are confident that more methane has leaked than in a similar incident in the Gulf of Mexico last year. Then, 40,000 tonnes of methane were released from an oil and gas facility in just 17 days, the equivalent of 3% of Mexico's annual emissions in one year.
The UN Observatory on Global Methane Emissions, in collaboration with the Technical University of Valencia, notes that the leakage this time is even greater.
Methane, of which natural gas is mainly composed, is a potent greenhouse gas, 80 times more potentially "dangerous" for global warming than carbon dioxide.
Photo: Twitter/International Methane Emissions Observatory
At the same time, the researchers proceeded to analyze satellite images and found that on 29 September the radius of the characteristic circle formed by the emitted gas had shrunk to 500 meters, compared to 700 meters on 26 September.
So far, four leaks have been detected in the two Nord Stream pipelines carrying gas from Russia to Europe. Several governments have explicitly spoken of sabotage in the pipelines. Denmark has estimated that the pipelines will be emptied by Sunday.
With information from Bloomberg
[This article was translated from its Greek original]