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Impacts of Sea Level Rise on the Coastal Zone of Bangladesh


Climate change is an important issue nowadays. Various human activities are making the world hot to hotter. The ultimate result is global warming, i.e. climate change. Rising temperature in the atmosphere causes sea level rise and affects low lying coastal areas and deltas of the world. In 1990, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that with a business-as-usual scenario of greenhouse gas emission, the world would be 3.30C warmer by the end of the next century, with a range of uncertainty of 2.2 to 4.90C (Warrick et al., 1993). With rise in temperature, sea level will  rise because of thermal expansion and ice melt.  Sea level rise has various impacts on Bangladesh, a coastal country facing 710 km long coast to the Bay of Bengal. It already has affected Bangladesh by land erosion,  salinity intrusion and loss in biodiversity. Its potential threats are coming even strongly in the future. Sea level rise will cause river bank erosion, salinity intrusion, flood, damage to infrastructures, crop failure, fisheries destruction, loss of biodiversity, etc. along this coast. A one-meter sea level rise (SLR) will affect the country’s vast coastal area and flood plain zone. It will affect Millennium Development goals,  causing environmental refugees. Most vulnerable sectors to one metre sea level rise are coastal resources, water resources, agriculture and the ecosystem of Bangladesh.

Adaptation and mitigation are two options for Bangladesh. Of which the first one is country specific, or even local specific, but mitigation  demands collective efforts of global communities. Development of adaptation policies  for different sectors will help Bangladesh to face the crucial hazards of sea level rise. Lobby in the international communities will be helpful to mitigate CO2
emissions, which is responsible for global warming and sea level rise. Proper mitigation plan and formulating adaptation policies are emerging need to minimize sea level rise impacts on the country.  This paper reviews the one metre sea level rise impacts on the coastal zone of Bangladesh, on the  basis of available secondary sources. The  resources includes books, government reports, international reports, scientific journals, maps and news articles that highlighted sea level rise related issues in Bangladesh. Some studies of the same field in other parts of the globe were also considered for the task. The study tries to seek for both qualitative and quantitative impacts and also tries to find out some solutions that would help Bangladesh to adapt to the problems. In the study, emphasis was placed on assessing the impacts rather than measuring rate of sea level rise or its root cause global warming, i.e. climate change debate. The study also does not do any cost analysis that is involved in adaptation and mitigation process.


Masters thesis of
Md. Golam Mahabub Sarwar

Patrik Wallman, Ph D

Lund University International Masters
Programme in Environmental Science
L     U     M     E     S
Lund  University,  Sweden
2 1  N O V E M B E R  2005

 Source: www.static.weadapt.org/placemarks/files/225/golam_sarwar.pdf

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1 Comment

  1. admin says:

    Dear Sku
    Very good entry. Keep working

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