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Wednesday, November 28, 2012
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Climate change and Bangladesh

Photo: Quddus Alam / driknews

The latest World Bank report on climate change has warned Bangladesh of being one of the worst sufferers, saying that by 2100 the sea level will rise by up to 3 feet. The sea level rise will cause water scarcity and falling of crop yields, which will exacerbate hunger and poverty in Bangladesh according to the report. The report has also mentioned that the cities located in Bangladesh (and in some other countries) will become highly vulnerable due to the sea level rise. The Germany-based organizations, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics, prepared the report for the World Bank.

The World Bank and the German organizations do not know a very vital information that Bangladesh is an active delta. And due to that the lands of Bangladesh is rising 5 (five) millimetres, on average, a year. So by the year 2100, the lands of Bangladesh will rise 20 (twenty) inches or almost two feet. Not only that, every year Bangladesh gets twenty square miles of land, on average, by the process of erosion and accretion from the sea along its coastline. It means the coastline of the country will go forward quite a few miles from the present position pushing the sea back. So from the viewpoint of climate change, the picture of Bangladesh is not as gloomy as said by some international organizations. At present Bangladesh may not be as rich as the western countries (before the colonial rule it was the richest country in the world), it does not mean that the country should always be made an example of any gloomy picture by the international organizations. I have no doubt about the good intention of the World Bank, but their report must be based on reality. It is not Dhaka but cities like New York, London, which are vulnerable due to sea level rise as the lands of those cities are not rising.

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