Climate change in Bangladesh

Climate change
Climate Change in bangladesh image source :Climate change threatens lives and futures of over 19 million children in Bangladesh, unicef

Climate change is adversely affecting almost all countries in the entire world directly and indirectly. Because of geographical location and climatic conditions, Bangladesh is also on the list. In addition, Bangladesh is acutely vulnerable to climate change. The physiography of Bangladesh such as the flat topography, floodplain landmass (around 88%), and sitting in a delta make it more susceptible to climatic events. As well, most of the landmass is lying within 10 meters above mean sea level.

The convergence of the three great rivers the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna (GBM), and the geographical location near the Eastern Himalayas makes Bangladesh vulnerable to natural calamities including floods, cyclones, and occasional earthquakes. A total of 57 transboundary rivers neighbored Bangladesh among which 54 are from India and three from Myanmar. As a result, the country has no control over water flows and volume that drains to the Bay of Bengal.

Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries with a high level of widespread poverty and inadequate adaptive capacity. There is an estimation that one thousand people live in each square kilometer, with the national population growing by two million people per year. Nearly half the population is in poverty (defined as purchasing power parity of US$1.25 per person a day).

The geological and spatial location of Bangladesh makes it highly vulnerable to climate change and disasters. Tackling those disasters with poverty alleviation, food security, water security, energy security, and economic opportunities is becoming daunting for developing countries like Bangladesh. Major threats and risks from disasters are:

Sea level rise

With 1 meter of sea-level rise, 10% of the area in Bangladesh will be inundated for 45 cm, and up to 21% of the coastal areas inundated as well. Consequently, agricultural productivity will be hindered. Moreover, there will be a loss of livelihood options, food shortages, lack of pure drinking water, the spread of diseases that can enhance climate migrations. Also, 30 years of investment in development might be wiped out due to 30cm of sea-level rise.

Salt Water Intrusion

The ingress of saltwater into freshwater will increase salinity and reduce the production of freshwater crops. The research admits that saltwater intrusion can cause detrimental impacts and decrease crop productivity, biodiversity, and opportunities to support people’s livelihood.

Increasing Cyclones and Storm Surges

Climate change will intensify extreme weather events like cyclones and storm surges. Bangladesh’s coastal zone is also vulnerable and can get hit by recurrent cyclonic events. The increment of sea-level rise may bring the water line inwards. The enhanced wind velocity can incur a substantial loss in communities, economy, ecosystem, and infrastructures.

Increasing Floods in the flood-prone areas and riverbank erosion

The ever-increasing temperature and global warming enhancing snowmelt in the Himalayan permafrost will force more water to flow through Ganges, Meghna, Brahmaputra rivers and their networks. As a result, many floodplains can get inundated. Many farmers will face a significant loss in agricultural productivity. The further additional flow will bring more sediments that will make the shallow riverbed shallower. This will lower the riverbed capacity and increase the occurrence of flooding and riverbank erosion.

Increased Drought

Drought is one of the challenging disasters in the northwestern region of Bangladesh. Considerable investments in the Barind area over two decades boosted agricultural productivity. But the decreasing rainfall and increasing drought can affect these efforts.

Temperature Increase

Rice is the principal food in Bangladesh. But its production can reduce because of increasing temperature and climate change. Especially, the northwestern region will face food insecurity as crops yield is likely to be reduced. Alternatives and replacement of rice by wheat or maize required farmers’ interest to practice and investment. All these are long-term phenomena.

Erratic Weather Patterns

The erratic weather patterns can disrupt the crop calendar and climate change is increasing the frequency of uncertain events. Farmers can face challenges to adapt to new practices to cope up with these irregular shifts of weather.

Impact on Mangrove Ecosystem

Sundarban act as a green coastal belt in southern Bangladesh that protects us from severe natural calamities. It is a matter of sorrow that, natural protector Sundarban is also vulnerable to sea-level rise, saline intrusion, and extreme weather events. This can result in the destruction of biodiversity, loss of many natural resources, species, and importantly a mangrove forest ecosystem.

Combination of Impacts

Coastal zone will face combined effects from sea-level rise and water inundation, intrusion of saltwater, increase in water surges as well as consequent loss of biodiversity, communication, and livelihood options. Likewise, drought-prone areas will suffer from water scarcity, increasing temperature, excessive load of dust content in the air, etc. leading to economic deprivation and increased respiratory diseases.

Because of the lacking of resources and finance, the government of Bangladesh alone cannot respond the natural disasters. However, the low-lying topography, funnel-shaped coast, and GBM estuaries exposed the land to cyclones, tidal surges, floods, and drought. Moreover, the deficiency of institutional development, excessive poverty, and lack of proper action may make the country extremely vulnerable to climate change.Climate change threatens lives and futures of over 19 million children in Bangladesh

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Etamoni Chakma

Hi, I'm Etamoni Chakma, an environmental science professional and top-rated academic writer on Upwork. With my education and research experience, I aim to create informative and inspiring content advocating for environmental protection. My passion is to educate and encourage people to take action for the betterment of our planet.

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