According to researchers, as a result of the detonations at the Nord Stream gas pipelines, less climate-damaging methane has escaped into the atmosphere than feared. About 70,000 tons of methane were released. Previous estimates had been 300,000 tons.

According to French researchers, the leaks in the Nord Stream gas pipelines have released less climate-damaging methane into the atmosphere than feared. Data from monitoring stations across Europe led them to conclude that 70,000 tons of methane had been released, scientists at France’s Atomic and Alternative Energy Commission (CEA) said on Wednesday. Other estimates would have been a multiple of this amount, at up to 300,000 tons.

The estimated amount released is equivalent to 2 percent of France’s carbon emissions, or Paris’ emissions for a full year, said Philippe Ciais. Scientists had expressed concern about the climate and environmental impact of the leaks. However, they also emphasized that the amounts of methane affected accounted for only a fraction of global emissions.

A total of four leaks were discovered last week on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, which run from Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany. All leaks are near the Danish island of Bornholm, two of them in the economic zone of Denmark and the other two in the economic zone of Sweden. Although the lines are not in operation, they were filled with gas for technical reasons. In the meantime, the gas leak has largely dried up.

According to a Danish-Swedish report for the UN Security Council, the leaks were caused by underwater explosions with a yield equivalent to “hundreds of kilos” of explosives. Both the West and Russia accused it of sabotage. Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the West of being behind the explosions.

Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak stressed that Moscow could deliver gas “in the shortest possible time” through the undamaged part of Nord Stream 2. To do this, the Europeans would have to make “the necessary legal decisions about certification and the lifting of restrictions” for this pipeline, Nowak said on state television on Wednesday.