Saturday, April 24, 2010

Disappeared South Talpatti, what next?

Dr. Md. Mizanur Rahman in the Daily Star (Bangladesh): The South Talpatti measuring 81 square miles in the Sunderbans has disappeared due to sea level rise and soil erosion. Its disappearance was confirmed by satellite image and sea patrols. Sugata Hazra, a professor from the School of Oceanographic Studies at Jadavpur University in Calcutta, told reporters, “There's no trace of the island any more,'' He noted that temperatures in the region had been rising at an annual rate of 0.4C. Until 2000, the sea level rose about 3mm a year, but over the last decade it had been rising about 5mm annually, he said. He warned that another ten islands could be at risk.

Another study showed that at Sundarbans island chain, where South Talpatti was situated; sea level has been rising by about 3.14 centimetres a year. A nearby island, Lohachara, was submerged in 1996, forcing its inhabitants to move to the mainland, while almost half of another island, called Ghoramara, is now under water. South Talpatti is the fifth island in the Sundarbans to sink into the sea preceded by Bedford, Lohachara, Kabasgadi, and Suparibhanga (Rice 2010). Another five inhabited islands in this delta region, where South Talpatti is located, could disappear in the next 10 years (Hazra 2010). The Namkhana island about 8 square kilometers while Sagar island has lost about 12 square kilometers. The study says that about 15% area of Sagar Island will be lost in the next 14 years (ITN 2009).

Bangladesh, a low-lying delta country will be highly affected by global warming. It is assumed that 18% of its coastal area will be submerged and 20 million people will be displaced if sea levels rises 1 metre by 2050 as projected by some climate models. 84% of the Sundarbans, the world's largest mangrove swamp, located between Bangladesh and India, would be inundated by 2050 even at conservative estimates such as a 32cm rise (IPCC reports 2009)…

The former location of South Talpatti island, Wikimedia Commons

No comments: