Chapter 4: Analyses of Livelihoods in the Bay of Bengal Delta
Moazzem Hossain, A.H.M. Ali and Eliyathamby Selvanathan 4.1 INTRODUCTION According to the World Bank, South Asia’s poorest of the poor are most at risk due to the intensity of global warming in recent times. In particular, almost 30–40 million people of the coastal belt of the Bay of Bengal will suffer from inundation by 2030 (World Bank 2008). Stern (2007) is of the view that even a moderate rise in temperature could cause serious changes to the environment in South Asia. Stern led the ‘Stern Report on the Economics of Climate Change’ commissioned by the UK Treasury and released in October 2006. Moreover, according to Oxford University climatologist Mark New, over the past 30 years snow cover and ice cover may have been reduced by 30 per cent in the eastern Himalayas. There is now a real risk that these glaciers might disappear altogether in the coming decades. If this happens, Bangladesh’s mighty rivers originating in the eastern parts of the Himalayas would be affected severely. Chapter 3 comprehensively analysed the freshwater issues of Bangladesh in the era of climate change. The onslaught of global warming induced extreme weather conditions on the Bay of Bengal delta has been studied by various authors in the past. However, major studies had been conducted in this area with international participation based on Bangladesh-wide data. Among these, the following observations are of importance here: Bangladesh will receive heavier rainfall during the monsoon because the rate of evaporation is expected to increase by up...
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