Nord Stream Climate Calamity™?

Posted On: Friday - September 30th 2022 8:08AM MST
In Topics: 
  The Russians  Websites  Global Climate Stupidity  Science

I got interested in the technical aspects of the Nord Stream Russia-Germany natural gas pipelines and their recent ruptures by sabotage as much as the political aspects. To find a quick dimension or other number here or there, I found myself on the Lyin' Press old internet standard yahoo once or twice. That's where I first ran into the newest of Global Climate Stupidity: "Climate Calamity™". (I'm not sure if it's trademarked, but they damned well better, before Peak Stupidity does.)

As much as I detest the stupidity on all of the whole yahoo site, including even their email* login process, I must give them big kudos for this one. This new term is scary, but also hyper-alliterative. If you say it right, it's "Kuh-lie-mit Kuh-lah-mit-tee!" Great, but that doesn't make them any less full of shit on the whole idea. Peak Stupidity goes way back to our beginnings in arguing against the stupidity of supposedly working mathematical models of the entire Earth's climate (check that topic key for the early-on posts).

As if the whole subject (really just another Totalitarian control scheme) is not stupid enough, yahoo told me that the release of the natural gas from Nord Stream 1/2, which is mostly Methane along with other hydrocarbons, may very well fire up this Climate Calamity™ right now. Crap! Wait, just in time for winter, at least, so there's that... Anyway, that Methane produces more of the Greenhouse Effect than the Carbon Dioxide they call "pollution"**. That Greenhouse Effect is a simple process that I will agree is "a thing", but the whole climate is thousands of times more complex than that one process.

Anyway, a simplified spec for pipeline quality NG I looked at says the fluid should be at least 75% Methane - CH4. There are traces of other gases that you don't want much of or don't care about, but the rest is other hydrocarbons. Let's just assume it's all Methane, as it seems to be the worry for the yahoo and other alarmists (not our commenter Alarmist, though).

Adam Smith and I bandied about the idea of how long the 11 Billion ft3 of NG that had been stored in the pipelines*** would take to get out, what will happen to the piping, etc. I don't really know, but let's assume all of it gets out into the atmosphere.**** I'll take just the bottom 3 miles of atmosphere over the area of the planetary sphere we know more colloquially as Mother Gaia. That's ~ 1 x 1020 ft3of atmosphere, so all of that Methane mixed in throughly will result in an extra one part per 10 Billion. That's 0.10 parts per Billion, then. Methane is normally present in the atmosphere at 1.87 parts per Million = 1,870 parts per Billion.

This addition of all of that Nord Stream (formerly stored) natural gas is at most an addition of 0.005% - note, that's percent - to the Earth's atmospheric Methane. In other words, it's like one Dave Mathews Band sewage dump in all of Lake Michigan! (Via the Chicago River, that is.) OK, I exaggerate a bit, but, no Mother Gaia will not notice 1 in 18,700 one bit.

How 'bout they burn it all off, someone suggested, as CO2 is not as bad, Climate Calamity™-wise, as Methane, they say? That'd be fun, for one thing. At 55 degrees N, the residents of Bornholm Island don't get any midnight sun so this could be the closest thing.

I'm not worried, but Chemistry is fun, so:

CH4 + 2O2 -----> CO2 + 2H2O

There's also a butt-load of energy on the right hand side - did they used to put that under the arrow? (It's been a LONG time.) The energy released is 35,000 - 43,000 KJ/m3. I'l get back to that. First, let me get back to a number by the name of Avogadro. Believe it or not, after something like 4 decades, I remembered without the internet that it's 6.02 x 1023. It's a constant that relates atomic/molecular weight of a substance to its mass in grams.

Let's do it: CH4 has an atomic weight of 12 + (4 x 1) = 16. O2 has an atomic weight of 2 x 16 = 32. For CO2 it's 12 + (2 x 16) = 44, and for water (H2O) it's (2 x 1) +16 = 18. Does it all add up? (It better!)

16 + (2 x 32) = 44 + (2 x 18) ?
80 = 80 Whewww!

"Oh, oh, it's all about Chemistry...

The idea with Avogadro's Number is we can call them all grams rather than numbers with 1/12 of a Carbon atom (to be precise) or one proton or neutron as the unit. It can be kg, lbs, or whatever. Either way, we're just doing proportions, so this last bit was kind of unnecessary. Suffice it to say that 16 kg of Methane nets you 44 kg of Carbon Dioxide. Oh, no! What to do, what to do?! Oh, and that 18 kg of H2O that some of us call water on the right side? It's a Greenhouse Gas too. (Oops, did I write that loud? We don't talk about water, sea, as it makes the scam too obvious.)

Then, there's that energy, which, after all, was the whole point of the pipeline and of blowing it up too. Were the energy from the combustion of these 11 Billion ft3 of NG released, should that worry the Atmo-Alarmists? That was a nice quick calculation I did too:

That 11 billion cubic feet (= 310 million cubic meters) of gas contains ~ 1.3 x 1016 J of chemical energy based on its higher heating value. Just as we did with Methane, it being only 3/4 possibly of the NG, let's just use that 78% of the atmosphere Nitrogen as the whole of it.

The specific heat of N2 is ~ 1 J/kg-C. The 3-mile thick atmosphere (I’m being conservative by picking that number) has a volume of about 2.5 x 1018 m3 at a density of, let's just use 1 kg/m3.***** , so that's 2.5 x 1018 kg.

We’ve got 2.5 x 1018 kg of nitrogen, of which it takes 1 J to heat up a kg of it by 1C, and 1.3 x 1016 of energy to heat it up with. E = mc∆T, so ∆T = E/mc = 0.005 C. Wait, but that's nearly .01 F, one hundredth of a degree! It's a heat wave, burning inside ...

We are small. The Earth is big. Plus:


* I've had one account on there for over 25 years, so whaddya' gonna do? Another one from 2 years shorter had the whole history of emails deleted.

** Using that term and also "emissions" is the way they get the non-scientific population to equate this inert gas, one of 2 products of clean burning of hydrocarbons, to Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen Oxides, particulates, and Mustard Gas, things that actually are pollutants and can kill you, if too much is in the air near you.

*** The pipelines weren't under flow, but all this was stored in them at the time of the sabotage.

**** While there was still lots of pressure, I wondered if the Russians could let it back flow to save some of it. No doubt a pipeline engineer could set us straight on all of this.

***** It does go lower, as one goes up, but at the average height (you'd need Calculus to do this right), it's right at that number.

Saturday - October 1st 2022 5:26AM MST
PS: Sam, I'll check out your link from LawDog (think I've read his site before once or twice), but the question is: How would that possibly happen to 3 of the 4 pipes nearly the same time?
Saturday - October 1st 2022 5:24AM MST
PS: It's not the main part of this story, Adam, but I just hate seeing these "news" sites and individuals making it into the biggest environmental story that it's not.

You reminded me of something I was going to write on there: This all calculated and written doesn't mean that it's not still hypocritical for whoever was responsible to keep going on about the Climate Calamity™, telling us to part our SUV's, etc.

Yeah, how a number like 6.02 x 10^23 stick could with me for that long is amazing. I barely remember my wife's birthday.

Thanks for the links, Adam, and especially the videos. They are fascinating and worth watching even with commercials in the middle (only 5 sec). I am very glad that they weren't done like reality shows with 5 minutes of drama that happens every 3 weeks becoming half the show.
Saturday - October 1st 2022 5:18AM MST
PS: Al Corrupt, that'd be a false flag type operation, then? I would think self-sabotage like that would limit all options for the Russians from then on.. It's sure costly, anyway. I don't know either, though ...
Sam J.
Friday - September 30th 2022 9:24PM MST

There's a guy called LAWDOG who used to work on pipelines and he makes a good case that this was not blown up but that poor maintenance and the stopped flow created a Hydrate that plugged and cracked the pipeline. I don't know if this is right or not but it does seem possible.
Adam Smith
Friday - September 30th 2022 8:23PM MST
PS: Two more links...

Adam Smith
Friday - September 30th 2022 8:17PM MST
PS: Top of the evening, y'all...

I agree with Messrs. Alarmist and Newman. If it's still bubbling, flare it. Burn it all off. Definitely more fun!

Thanks for the math lesson, Mr. Moderator. Glad to know it's not really a Climate Calamity™.

Also, thanks for the heads up on Avogadro's Number!

Al Corrupt
Friday - September 30th 2022 5:51PM MST

While many claim Russia could have just turned a valve and cut off the flow, so they didn’t do it… turning off the valve would have unified NATO… this way there’s suspicion and bad feelings between allies… this isn’t to say that I believe it’s impossible for one f the NATO members to do this… just that Russia had both the means and opportunity to do so. It’s not an open and shut case.
The Alarmist
Friday - September 30th 2022 10:40AM MST

They should flare it and feed it as a monument to the EU’s refusal to see the light.
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