Record Methane Leak Flows From Damaged Baltic Sea Pipelines

Methane leaking from the damaged Nord Stream pipelines is likely to be the biggest burst of the potent greenhouse gas on record, by far.

The Nord Stream pipeline leaks that were pumping huge volumes of methane into the Baltic Sea and atmosphere could discharge as much as five times as much of the potent greenhouse as was released by the Aliso Canyon disaster, the largest known terrestrial release of methane in U.S. history. It is also the equivalent of one third of Denmark’s total annual greenhouse gas emissions, a Danish official warned Wednesday.

Two scientists looked at the official worst case scenario estimates provided by the Danish government — 778 million cubic meters of gas —

Andrew Baxter, a chemical engineer who formerly worked in the offshore oil and gas industry, and is now at the environmental group EDF thought the Danish estimate was likely too high. He had a more conservative estimate. But it was still more than double the Aliso Canyon disaster.

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