The war in Ukraine is what everyone is talking about these days. But it’s not the battleground that is under the limelight but the Nord stream, the power lifeline of western Europe. Scientists and researchers are trying to figure out how bad the damage is and how far-reaching the effects will be.
Apart from being an economic strangle over Russia, it is also quickly becoming an environmental disaster. Bloomberg reported that a 700-meter circle of water was bubbling with methane released from the three major pipeline leaks. Nonetheless, the repair of the underwater supply system has to be accorded priority at war footing otherwise, Europe is set for an economic and environmental disaster.
“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,” David McCabe, senior scientist at Clean Air Task Force, told Bloomberg.
“There are a number of uncertainties, but if these pipelines fail, the impact on the climate will be disastrous and could even be unprecedented.”
All signs are pointing toward sabotage, which would be a bleak possibility keeping in view the ongoing conflict.
What is surprising is the fact that no pipeline that was targeted was operational at the time of the alleged sabotage. However, they had pressurized gas, which is the root cause of the leaks.
Moreover, Seismologists detected underwater explosions near the lines, which lay deep in the Baltic Sea. They have also raised alarm bells with their understanding that blasts were seen near the leaks’ sites, not of natural origin.
This is not good news keeping in view the situation in Europe, but as the African proverb goes, “When two elephants fight, it’s the grass that suffers,” and European people are the grass here.