Sunday, September 07, 2008

Bangladesh's Climate Refugees

Bangladesh is facing the reality of a growing number of climate refugees - as families are forced to move inland as increasing areas of the coastal plain are submerged under higher tides caused by rising sea levels.

This trend is despite the fact that the country's two large rivers - the Ganges and the Brahmaputra - are carrying downstream more than a billion tonnes of sediment per year. About one third of this is deposited on the country's southern coast, forming new sand bars and, eventually, extending the coastline by a rate of about 8 square miles per year.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says there will be 20 million people internally displaced people within Bangladesh by 2050 as a result of climate change. James Hansen, meanwhile, of the NASA Goddard Institute predicts that the country's entire population of 144 million are at risk of becoming environmental refugees by the end of the century. Source: AFP

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