Author Topic: How Global Warming Threatens Millions in Bangladesh  (Read 1836 times)

Offline Shamim Ansary

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How Global Warming Threatens Millions in Bangladesh
« on: July 01, 2010, 02:44:04 PM »
Khajura, Bangladesh—In this obscure village perched on the rugged coastline along the Bay of Bengal, climate change exudes a taste. It is the flavor of salt. As recently as five years ago, water from the village well tasted sweet to Mohammed Jehangir. But now, a glassful, flecked with tiny white crystals, is briny. Like other paddy farmers in this southern village, Jehangir is baffled by the change. But international scientists aren't surprised to see such effects, as global warming causes sea levels to rise. It is a sign that the brackish water from the Bay of Bengal is encroaching, surging up Bangladesh's fresh-water rivers, percolating deep into the soil, fouling ponds and the underground water supply that millions depend on to drink and cultivate their farms. Salt is slowly, yet inexorably, making its way to the rice paddies of farmers like Jehangir, destroying their only source of income.

 
Khajura is on the front lines of climate change, and some of the poorest of the world's poor are feeling the consequences of the fossil fuel emissions by industrialized nations half a world away. There is little chance of, literally, turning back the tide. The implications are dire for many millions living here and for others in low-lying areas around the world.

Bangladesh tops the 2009 Global Climate Risk Index, a ranking of 170 countries most vulnerable to climate change compiled by Germanwatch, an international nongovernmental organization that works on environment and development issues. The nation is particularly at risk because it is a vast delta plain with 230 rivers, many of which unstably swell during the monsoon rains. This geology, combined with river water from the melting Himalayan glaciers in the north and an encroaching Bay of Bengal in the south, makes the region prone to severe flooding. The situation is made worse by the prevalence of intense storms, a marker of climate stresses. Sidr, the Category 4 cyclone that ravaged southern Bangladesh in November 2007, killed some 3,500 people, displaced 2 million, and wiped out paddy fields. Sidr was followed by two heavier-than-normal floods that killed some 1,500 people and damaged about 2 million tons of food. The United Nations warns that a quarter of Bangladesh's coastline could be inundated if the sea rises 3 feet in the next 50 years, displacing 30 million Bangladeshis from their homes and farms. If that happens, the capital, Dhaka, now at the center of the country, would have its own sea promenade.

But beyond the existential peril, an immediate threat comes from soil salinity that jeopardizes food output in Bangladesh, a country where 40 percent of its 150 million people live below the poverty line. In the past few years, because of rising soil salinity, Jehangir has begun noticing a white film of salt that envelops his paddy farm. "These white particles severely impede rice productivity," he complains, darting his finger at a patch of mud covered in traces of white. Paddy husks take on an abnormal red coloration before drying and wilting away, he says. "The poor quality rice doesn't sell much. It's becoming increasingly difficult to feed my family." To boost his declining income, he may follow the example of many of his neighbors, who switched to home-based shrimp farming, monetizing the salty water awash over Khajura's fields. In an occupational shift, shrimp farming is becoming more popular than cultivation. But this has come with its own share of problems. Because it is less labor-intensive, shrimp farming has contributed to unemployment, compelling some residents to migrate to cities.

Recognizing the plight of farmers, the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute has increased research efforts on salinity issues. "This is a growing problem in Bangladesh," says Mohammed Firoze Shah Sikder, BRRI's executive director. "This is severely affecting crop production." A 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that the production of staple foods could drop steeply by 2050 because of soil salinity. This would be devastating in a country where agriculture is the key economic driver. This sector accounts for about 22 percent of the nation's economic output, with an additional 33 percent derived from the rural nonfarm economy, which is also linked to agriculture, according to the World Bank. Around 65 percent of the population is employed in agriculture.

Rice is the country's lifeblood. Rice purchases often constitute 30 to 40 percent of the total expenditures of an average Bangladeshi family, according to the International Rice Research Institute. Even a small increase in price can have a serious impact on the household food security of the poor. According to a study by IRRI, a 25 percent increase in the price of rice translates into a 7 to 10 percent drop in the real income of Bangladesh's poor.

Khajura, Bangladesh—In this obscure village perched on the rugged coastline along the Bay of Bengal, climate change exudes a taste. It is the flavor of salt. As recently as five years ago, water from the village well tasted sweet to Mohammed Jehangir. But now, a glassful, flecked with tiny white crystals, is briny. Like other paddy farmers in this southern village, Jehangir is baffled by the change. But international scientists aren't surprised to see such effects, as global warming causes sea levels to rise. It is a sign that the brackish water from the Bay of Bengal is encroaching, surging up Bangladesh's fresh-water rivers, percolating deep into the soil, fouling ponds and the underground water supply that millions depend on to drink and cultivate their farms. Salt is slowly, yet inexorably, making its way to the rice paddies of farmers like Jehangir, destroying their only source of income.

Khajura is on the front lines of climate change, and some of the poorest of the world's poor are feeling the consequences of the fossil fuel emissions by industrialized nations half a world away. There is little chance of, literally, turning back the tide. The implications are dire for many millions living here and for others in low-lying areas around the world.

Bangladesh tops the 2009 Global Climate Risk Index, a ranking of 170 countries most vulnerable to climate change compiled by Germanwatch, an international nongovernmental organization that works on environment and development issues. The nation is particularly at risk because it is a vast delta plain with 230 rivers, many of which unstably swell during the monsoon rains. This geology, combined with river water from the melting Himalayan glaciers in the north and an encroaching Bay of Bengal in the south, makes the region prone to severe flooding. The situation is made worse by the prevalence of intense storms, a marker of climate stresses. Sidr, the Category 4 cyclone that ravaged southern Bangladesh in November 2007, killed some 3,500 people, displaced 2 million, and wiped out paddy fields. Sidr was followed by two heavier-than-normal floods that killed some 1,500 people and damaged about 2 million tons of food. The United Nations warns that a quarter of Bangladesh's coastline could be inundated if the sea rises 3 feet in the next 50 years, displacing 30 million Bangladeshis from their homes and farms. If that happens, the capital, Dhaka, now at the center of the country, would have its own sea promenade.

But beyond the existential peril, an immediate threat comes from soil salinity that jeopardizes food output in Bangladesh, a country where 40 percent of its 150 million people live below the poverty line. In the past few years, because of rising soil salinity, Jehangir has begun noticing a white film of salt that envelops his paddy farm. "These white particles severely impede rice productivity," he complains, darting his finger at a patch of mud covered in traces of white. Paddy husks take on an abnormal red coloration before drying and wilting away, he says. "The poor quality rice doesn't sell much. It's becoming increasingly difficult to feed my family." To boost his declining income, he may follow the example of many of his neighbors, who switched to home-based shrimp farming, monetizing the salty water awash over Khajura's fields. In an occupational shift, shrimp farming is becoming more popular than cultivation. But this has come with its own share of problems. Because it is less labor-intensive, shrimp farming has contributed to unemployment, compelling some residents to migrate to cities.

Recognizing the plight of farmers, the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute has increased research efforts on salinity issues. "This is a growing problem in Bangladesh," says Mohammed Firoze Shah Sikder, BRRI's executive director. "This is severely affecting crop production." A 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that the production of staple foods could drop steeply by 2050 because of soil salinity. This would be devastating in a country where agriculture is the key economic driver. This sector accounts for about 22 percent of the nation's economic output, with an additional 33 percent derived from the rural nonfarm economy, which is also linked to agriculture, according to the World Bank. Around 65 percent of the population is employed in agriculture.

Rice is the country's lifeblood. Rice purchases often constitute 30 to 40 percent of the total expenditures of an average Bangladeshi family, according to the International Rice Research Institute. Even a small increase in price can have a serious impact on the household food security of the poor. According to a study by IRRI, a 25 percent increase in the price of rice translates into a 7 to 10 percent drop in the real income of Bangladesh's poor.


by Anuj Chopra
at US News and World Report
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Offline shibli

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Re: How Global Warming Threatens Millions in Bangladesh
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2011, 04:34:39 PM »
The consequences of global warning

We're all going to die, but climate change may increase the risk of death, according to a new report by the World Health Organization (WHO). Many important diseases that affect developing countries are sensitive to climate variations, according to the report, and even a proportionally small change in the global incidence of some diseases could result in significant public health impacts far into the future.
The authors of Climate Change and Human Health: Risks and Responses quantified the relative risk of death in 2030 from diarrhea, malaria, and cardiovascular disease related to heat and cold, malnutrition, and flooding in several developed and developing regions. They used a WHO-developed methodology that quantifies the disease burden in 2030 based on 26 environmental, occupational, behavioral, and lifestyle risk factors.
 
Africa and Southeast Asia bore much of the estimated increased disease burden. The increased risk of diarrhea was as much as 10% higher in some regions than if no climate change occurred. Large increases were estimated for malaria in regions adjacent to areas already significantly affected by the disease. Under the unmitigated emissions scenario, the western Pacific region could expect malaria to increase by as much as 83%. Temperate climates appeared to spare most of Europe from increased risk, and socioeconomic conditions protected most of the southern United States.

The greatest uncertainty in the authors' estimates stems from the lack of long-term data sets on disease rates in most regions of the world.
Provision of clean water and sanitation not only cuts overall diarrhea rates, but also decreases the importance of the bacterial pathogens that respond positively to temperature, and decreases risks of diarrhea outbreaks following floods.


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Offline s.islam

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Re: How Global Warming Threatens Millions in Bangladesh
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2011, 11:31:51 AM »
Every body tells about the effect of global warming threatens but what is solution to protect against it.How can we save ourselves against the threatens of global warming.

Offline Shamim Ansary

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Re: How Global Warming Threatens Millions in Bangladesh
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2011, 03:21:27 PM »
Top 10 Things You Can Do to Reduce Global Warming

Burning fossil fuels such as natural gas, coal, oil and gasoline raises the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and carbon dioxide is a major contributor to the greenhouse effect and global warming.

You can help to reduce the demand for fossil fuels, which in turn reduces global warming, by using energy more wisely. Here are 10 simple actions you can take to help reduce global warming.

1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Do your part to reduce waste by choosing reusable products instead of disposables. Buying products with minimal packaging (including the economy size when that makes sense for you) will help to reduce waste. And whenever you can, recycle paper, plastic, newspaper, glass and aluminum cans. If there isn't a recycling program at your workplace, school, or in your community, ask about starting one. By recycling half of your household waste, you can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide annually.

2. Use Less Heat and Air Conditioning
Adding insulation to your walls and attic, and installing weather stripping or caulking around doors and windows can lower your heating costs more than 25 percent, by reducing the amount of energy you need to heat and cool your home.

Turn down the heat while you're sleeping at night or away during the day, and keep temperatures moderate at all times. Setting your thermostat just 2 degrees lower in winter and higher in summer could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide each year.

3. Change a Light Bulb
Wherever practical, replace regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. Replacing just one 60-watt incandescent light bulb with a CFL will save you $30 over the life of the bulb. CFLs also last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs, use two-thirds less energy, and give off 70 percent less heat.

If every U.S. family replaced one regular light bulb with a CFL, it would eliminate 90 billion pounds of greenhouse gases, the same as taking 7.5 million cars off the road.

4. Drive Less and Drive Smart
Less driving means fewer emissions. Besides saving gasoline, walking and biking are great forms of exercise. Explore your community mass transit system, and check out options for carpooling to work or school.

When you do drive, make sure your car is running efficiently. For example, keeping your tires properly inflated can improve your gas mileage by more than 3 percent. Every gallon of gas you save not only helps your budget, it also keeps 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

5. Buy Energy-Efficient Products
When it's time to buy a new car, choose one that offers good gas mileage. Home appliances now come in a range of energy-efficient models, and compact florescent bulbs are designed to provide more natural-looking light while using far less energy than standard light bulbs.

Avoid products that come with excess packaging, especially molded plastic and other packaging that can't be recycled. If you reduce your household garbage by 10 percent, you can save 1,200 pounds of carbon dioxide annually.

6. Use Less Hot Water
Set your water heater at 120 degrees to save energy, and wrap it in an insulating blanket if it is more than 5 years old. Buy low-flow showerheads to save hot water and about 350 pounds of carbon dioxide yearly. Wash your clothes in warm or cold water to reduce your use of hot water and the energy required to produce it. That change alone can save at least 500 pounds of carbon dioxide annually in most households. Use the energy-saving settings on your dishwasher and let the dishes air-dry.

7. Use the "Off" Switch
Save electricity and reduce global warming by turning off lights when you leave a room, and using only as much light as you need. And remember to turn off your television, video player, stereo and computer when you're not using them.

It's also a good idea to turn off the water when you're not using it. While brushing your teeth, shampooing the dog or washing your car, turn off the water until you actually need it for rinsing. You'll reduce your water bill and help to conserve a vital resource.

8. Plant a Tree
If you have the means to plant a tree, start digging. During photosynthesis, trees and other plants absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. They are an integral part of the natural atmospheric exchange cycle here on Earth, but there are too few of them to fully counter the increases in carbon dioxide caused by automobile traffic, manufacturing and other human activities. A single tree will absorb approximately one ton of carbon dioxide during its lifetime.

9. Get a Report Card from Your Utility Company
Many utility companies provide free home energy audits to help consumers identify areas in their homes that may not be energy efficient. In addition, many utility companies offer rebate programs to help pay for the cost of energy-efficient upgrades.

10. Encourage Others to Conserve
Share information about recycling and energy conservation with your friends, neighbors and co-workers, and take opportunities to encourage public officials to establish programs and policies that are good for the environment.

These 10 steps will take you a long way toward reducing your energy use and your monthly budget. And less energy use means less dependence on the fossil fuels that create greenhouse gases and contribute to global warming.

Source: http://environment.about.com/od/globalwarming/tp/globalwarmtips.htm
"Many thanks to Allah who gave us life after having given us death and (our) final return (on the Day of Qiyaamah (Judgement)) is to Him"

Offline Shamim Ansary

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Re: How Global Warming Threatens Millions in Bangladesh
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2011, 03:25:11 PM »
50 Things You Can Do to Reduce Global Warming

Please surf the link for details...http://globalwarming-facts.info/assets/files/50-tips.pdf
"Many thanks to Allah who gave us life after having given us death and (our) final return (on the Day of Qiyaamah (Judgement)) is to Him"

Offline sumon_acce

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Re: How Global Warming Threatens Millions in Bangladesh
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2011, 01:21:31 PM »
Thanks for the link.

Offline Md. Fouad Hossain Sarker

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Re: How Global Warming Threatens Millions in Bangladesh
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2011, 04:29:28 PM »
This is a precious post which enriches our knowledge about global warming. The government of Bangladesh should take proper steps regarding this issue.
Md. Fouad Hossain Sarker
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Department of Development Studies
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Daffodil International University
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Offline poppy siddiqua

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Re: How Global Warming Threatens Millions in Bangladesh
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2011, 11:37:21 AM »
informative post
Poppy Siddiqua
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Offline s.islam

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Re: How Global Warming Threatens Millions in Bangladesh
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2011, 02:54:32 PM »
This is a thoughtful post which enriches our knowledge about global warming which is the crying need problem for human being to serve . I belive each and everybody should go through the post.

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Re: How Global Warming Threatens Millions in Bangladesh
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2011, 11:49:21 AM »
Very informative post. Thanks for sharing.
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Daffodil International university

Offline sethy

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Re: How Global Warming Threatens Millions in Bangladesh
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2011, 12:16:49 PM »
Now a days Global Warming is one of the most talked threat in the world. Thanks to share this with us.
Sazia Afrin Sethy
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