On September 26, 2022, Nord Stream pipelines 1 and 2 began to leak within hours of each other. The European Union has deemed it sabotage, based on the low probability of both pipelines leaking within such a short time. Additionally, blasts were detected by the Danish and Swedish governments. An estimated 500,000 tons of methane were released into the atmosphere, but both pipelines have since stopped leaking. 

During the nine days of leakage, which stopped on October 4, about half a million tons of methane were released. While this is lots and lots of gas, in the grand scheme of climate change, it’s only a drop in the bucket. “600 million tons of methane were released in 2017 so in total, it’s only about a few days worth,” said Andrea Yanes, a science teacher at Concord Academy. She talked about how even though large amounts of greenhouse gas were released, the same amount would be released over the course of just a few days from normal activities. Additionally, the pipelines weren’t flowing at the time of the explosion, meaning that no new gas will continue to run through the tubes. The lines were previously shut down, so the gas that was in the tubes is all that was or will be in the lines in the future. “The methane got consumed by the explosion or leaked into the ocean so they can stop the flow of gas, meaning it will no longer cause a problem,” Yanes said. Despite how the climate will be impacted by the large amounts of greenhouse gases that were released, the leaks will not completely alter the course of climate change. 

In addition to the effects the leaks will have on the climate, there will also be a severe economic impact. The Nord Stream pipelines supplied Europe with about 35% of its gas. Although they haven't been active for several months, the most-likely permanent shutdown will leave the five countries the pipelines supplied scrambling to find a new permanent supplier of gas. This will lead to a gas shortage and the rise of gas prices in Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany, and potentially continent-wide economic issues.

The prevailing theory is that Russia was behind the explosions that caused the leaks. It is believed by experts that they blew up the gas pipes in order to cut off Europe’s gas supply. As previously stated, these pipelines were responsible for about 35% of Europe’s gas. Experts say that it is highly likely that Russia caused the explosions to try and freeze out Europe for the winter, to help them win the war in Ukraine. If other European countries don’t have enough supplies, they won’t be able to supply and aid Ukraine. Therefore, many people agree it makes sense that Russia would have been the one to blow up the gas pipelines. However, there is no concrete evidence to back up this theory. Many other countries are suspected, including other European countries and the USA. Most people agree that there is a strong chance this was done by one of these countries, despite Russia being the main suspect. 

The Nord Stream pipelines leaks have resulted in consequences that will affect the climate and the economy. Hundreds of thousands of tons of methane were leaked into the atmosphere. Five countries are short on gas. This suspected sabotage could have effects that last for years into the future. Overall, there will be an extreme impact on Europe’s economy, and some impact on the climate after both Nord Stream 1 and 2 were sabotaged.