Climate change-induced challenges to sustainable development in Bangladesh

M A Mojid
Department of Irrigation and Water Management, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh – 2202, Bangladesh
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Abstract. Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change due to its low-lying deltaic landforms and close proximity to the Bay of Bengal. Therefore, climate change and its consequences are critical hindrance to the vision of sustained socio-economic growth of the country. With the evolving climate change, Bangladesh has been frequently facing extreme climatic events, such as erratic rainfall, flooding, drought, sea-level rise, cyclones, and salinity intrusion. Climate change will worsen many of the current problems and natural hazards that the country faces. The mean temperature is projected to rise by 1.0 to 1.4°C during 2046–2065 and 1.0 to 3.7°C during 2081–2100. Rainfall is likely to change with more erratic pattern in the future. The western parts and drought-prone areas of the country will be at greater risk from droughts. The extent of flood intensity from cyclonic storm surges is likely to increase. The predicted sea-level rise in the coastal zone is 0.2–1.0 m in 2100, with a current trend of 6–20 mm year-1. The rising sea level, along with cyclonic storm surges, will increase the intensity and extent of coastal flooding, accelerate salinity intrusion, and hinder freshwater availability. The areas under 1 ppt and 5 ppt salinity in base (2005) condition will increase to 17.5 ppt and 24 ppt salinity, respectively by 2050 under extreme climate scenario. Under moderate climate scenario, crop production will decline by 27% for Aus rice and 61% for wheat. The yield of Boro rice may reduce by 55–62% under extreme climate scenario. The reduced crop yield will negatively influence food security, and lives and livelihoods of millions of people in the country. Thus, climate change will become a major threat to Bangladesh’s aspirations to ensure food security, poverty alleviation and sustainable development.

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