Nord Stream leaks, “Impacts on the entire biosphere”. The climate will pay off

According to the expert of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa, “what is most worrying is the ‘global warming potential’ of methane”. In short, these losses also give a good hand to the climate crisis

The gas leaking from the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea stretch between Denmark and Sweden, as a result of the explosions, boils over a surface up to 1,000 meters in diameter. And if the images cause concern, the alarm should be more what is not seen. Because the gas that has poured into the water quickly reaches the surface and then evaporates, and it is what is out of the water now that has to deal with this presence and its global warming potential. The climate will pay the price in the first place. “Such an event will certainly have an impact on the ecosystem, locally, but more widely on the entire biosphere.“, Donato Romano, researcher at the Institute of Biorobotics of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa, an expert in bio-hybrid ecosystems and the use of technologies in natural systems, tells AdnKronos.

“I would exclude damage to aquatic ecosystems ‘underwater’, therefore to aquatic fauna and flora and, in general, to the biome present in those environments, because methane gas has a relatively low water solubility and tends to evaporate soon in the atmosphere,” he explains. the expert. In short, what methane does is rise up, dispersing itself in the air environment. The direct effects, therefore, “will certainly affect the animals flying over that area because they will find themselves inhaling this high density of gas in that volume of air, becoming intoxicated. But what worries the most is the indirect effect of the gas leak. due to its ‘global warming potential’ “.

The global warming potentialthe ‘global warming potential’, is an index used to measure the effects of different substances and different gases on the greenhouse effect “and methane, alas, has a value of this global warming potential much higher than that of carbon dioxide – explains the expert – For this parameter, time horizons are used; generally, over 100 years, the global warming potential is said to be 25 for methane, while for CO2 the reference value is 1. There is a big difference “.

Methane is quite present in the aquatic environment, especially on the ocean floor where large quantities of this gas are estimated, a gas continuously produced by the same natural systems, from decomposition in the swamps to the animal digestion process. “It is found in nature, just like CO2, but anthropogenic action has contributed significantly in recent decades by changing the balance of these gases in our atmosphere with deleterious effects on the Earth system. Such an event – concludes Donato Romano, referring to the Nord Stream leaks – it will bring important levels of methane into the atmosphere that may have repercussions that are not exactly ‘nice’ “.

by Stefania Marignetti