Climate Change & its Impacts on Bangladesh
Auteur: Anne-Katrien Denissen.
Bangladesh is one of the largest deltas in the world which is highly vulnerable to Natural Disasters because of its Geographical location, Flat and low-lying landscape, Population density, Poverty, Illiteracy, Lack of Institutional setup etc. In other words, the Physical, Social as well as Economic conditions of Bangladesh are very typical to any of the most vulnerable countries to Natural Disasters in the world. The total land area is 147,570 sq. km. consists mostly of Floodplains (almost 80%) leaving major part of the country (with the exception of the north-western highlands) prone to flooding during the rainy season. Moreover, the adverse affects of Climate Change – especially High Temperature, Sea-level Rise, Cyclones and Storm Surges, Salinity Intrusion, Heavy Monsoon Downpours etc. has aggravated the overall Economic Development scenario of the country to a great extent. Bangladesh has got a population of around 150 million (2011) with a life expectancy at birth of around 63 years, and an adult literacy rate of 47.5%. The recent Human Development Report ranks Bangladesh number 140 of 177 nations. Bangladesh has an average annual population growth rate of around 2% (4.6% in urban areas), almost 75% of the population lives in rural areas and a population density of 954.4 (people per sq. km.). Bangladesh is predominantly Agricultural with two thirds of the population engaged in farming or Agro-based industrial activity mainly. The climate of Bangladesh can be characterized by High temperatures, Heavy rainfall, High humidity, and fairly marked three seasonal variations like Hot Summer, Shrinking Winter and Medium to Heavy Rains during the Rainy season. Climatic Impacts:
Bangladesh experiences different types of Natural Disasters almost every year because of the Global Warming as well as Climate Change impacts, these are: Floods / Flash Floods (Almost 80% of the total area of the country is prone to flooding). Cyclones and Storm Surges (South and South-eastern Parts of the country were hit by Tropical Cyclones during the last few years). Salinity Intrusion (Almost the whole Coastal Belt along the Bay of Bengal is experiencing Salinity problem). Extreme Temperature and Drought (North and North-western regions of the country are suffering because of the Extreme Temperature problem). Sectoral Impacts
Agriculture and Fisheries:
As already mentioned earlier, the economy of Bangladesh is based on Agriculture mainly, with two thirds of the population engaged (directly or indirectly) on Agricultural activities; although the country is trying move towards industrialization slowly during the last one and a half decade almost. So, the overall impact of Climate Change on Agricultural production in Bangladesh would be wide spread and devastating for the country’s economy. Beside this, other impacts of Climate Change such as - Extreme Temperature, Drought, and Salinity Intrusion etc. are also responsible for the declining crop yields in Bangladesh. Temperature and Rainfall changes have already affected crop production in many parts of the country and the area of arable land has decreased to a great extent. The Salinity intrusion in the coastal area is creating a serious implications for the coastal land that were traditionally used for rice production. The fisheries sector has also experienced an adverse affect because of the impacts of Climate Change. The fisheries sector contributes about 3.5% of the GDP in Bangladesh and people depend on fish products in order to meet up majority of their daily protein requirements. There are around 260 species of fish in the country and almost all the varieties are sensitive to specific salt and freshwater conditions. Water Resources and Hydrology:
In a high density country like Bangladesh, the effects of Climate Change on the Surface and Ground water resources will be very severe and alarming....
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