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Germany: Baerbock uses fake sea level data during political debate

Seven meters of sea level rise by 2100: The Green candidate threatens a scenario that exceeds even the most pessimistic forecasts of the IPCC by more than six times. The politician shows herself to be an amateur apocalyptic when it comes to climate policy.

During the political debate on Sunday, the green candidate Annalena Baerbock attacked her competitors Armin Laschet from the Union and Olaf Scholz from the SPD alike on the climate issue: Both would do too little against global warming and for “keep it up " stand. She illustrated her accusation with the linguistically somewhat confused sentence: "That means you are telling a child who is born today, who will be eighty in the year 2100, seven meters of sea rise."

So there will be seven meters of sea level rise by 2100, if not all green plans and wishes are realized - that is the essence of Baerbock's statement. In fact, the number is completely absurd: not even the most pessimistic scenario of the IPCC assumes a sea level rise of 700 centimeters in just 79 years.

According to data from NASA, sea levels rose globally by around 20 centimeters from 1900 to 2020 . Between 1993 and 2020, the annual increase was relatively stable at 3.3 millimeters . These data already show that even if the trend were to intensify, only much more modest sea level heights would be possible up to 2 100. In a statement published in 2019, the IPCC assumes two scenarios - one probable and one dramatic. The likely increase will be between 30 and 60 centimeters by 2100. The dramatic projection ("if greenhouse gas emissions rise sharply") predicts 60 to 110 centimeters more by 2100. 
The original of the report says:

"Sea level will continue to rise for centuries. It could reach around 30-60 cm by 2100 even if greenhouse gas emissions are sharply reduced and global warming is limited to well below 2 ° C, but around 60-110 cm if greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase strongly. "

However, the IPCC prognoses for the strong increase are based on an unrealistic assumption of CO2 emissions, for which twice as much fossil fuel would have to be burned as, according to current knowledge, occurs at all in a recoverable state on earth. But even the maximum value of this blackest, most dramatic and most improbable IPCC scenario for CO2 in the atmosphere and sea level development is still just over a sixth of what Baerbock threatened the public with by 2100.

Where does the ominous number of seven meters actually come from? It comes from a model calculation that has been circulating through the climate debates for many years for a maximum rise in sea level that would be reached if all the mainland ice worldwide - the Greenland ice sheet and all glaciers - were to melt completely. However, this process would take more than 1000 years and require an equally long warm phase. Apparently, the title of this seven-meter model calculation was stuck in Baerbock's memory, but not its context, and she mixed this scrap of information with the commonly used target of climate policy, the year 2100. Her "seven meter rise in sea level" for the newly born child adds to her astonishing mistakes and knowledge gaps in this climate election campaign.

In a talk show she announced that every German emits “nine gigatons of CO2” per year. In fact, it is a good 9 tonnes per capita per year - that is, a billion times less. In a tweet she later spoke of “CO2 consumption”, which is higher among the wealthy than the poor.

Baerbock's sentence from the debate is pure nonsense not only because of the amount of ice and the passage of time, but also because of the global scale. Because the politician suggests that the measures that she wants to implement with her party in Germany - after all, it's about the federal election, not the free choice of a world government - that could significantly control the development of sea levels. In fact, Germany's influence is extremely small, at around two percent of global man-made CO2 emissions.

The Green candidate actually sees herself in the role of a global leader, although her party is currently at 15 percent in the polls. In a recent interview with Die Welt, Baerbock said: "I want to solve the crises of this world."

At the same time, in an election video and at rallies, she repeats the end-of-time sentence that the next federal government will be “the last one that can still actively counteract climate change”.

Conclusion: Although the Greens declare climate policy to be a central policy area to which everything else should be subordinate, and also claim sole competence for this field, their Chancellor candidate only operates here with text modules, cursory bullet points and apocalyptic droning, which above all should produce a lot of fear - but does not suggest any competence in the matter.

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