Climate Change Impacts on the Coastal Zones of Bangladesh: Perspectives on Tropical Cyclones, Sea Level Rise, and Social Vulnerability

  • Edris Alam
  • Salim Momtaz
  • Hafiz Uddin Bhuiyan
  • Sultana Nasrin Baby
Part of the Springer Climate book series (SPCL)


Climate change is one of the greatest threats to human security and sustainability. This chapter illustrates five key areas of its effects in relation to climate change in Bangladesh. These are (i) changes in temperature; (ii) intensity of tropical cyclones; (iii) storm surge heights; (iv) sea level rise; and (v) social vulnerability. In 2008, the Ministry of Environment and Forests revealed that Bangladesh and its adjoining areas had warmed by 0.5 °C over the preceding 100 years. The rise in temperature is generally observed in the monsoon season (June–August). An analysis of the relationship between tropical cyclones and sea surface temperatures (SSTs) for the period between 1901 and 1998 showed that despite increases in SSTs, the frequency of tropical cyclones had decreased since 1981 in the Bay of Bengal. Under the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenario, it is projected that tropical cyclone activity in the future is likely to decrease in the Bay of Bengal. It is predicted that rises in the mean sea level (MSL) and increases in the tropical cyclone wind speed will increase the depth of inundation along the Bangladeshi coast by more than 3 m and increase exposed areas by 69% in size. Increases in SST of up to 2 °C will increase the height of storm surges by 23% and increase areas of inundation by up to 1.26 times the present levels of inundation. Analyzing 22 years of data (1977–1988), the South Asian Meteorological Research Council (2003) showed that the relative sea levels in the Bay of Bengal have risen by 4.0 mm/year and 7.8-mm/year along the western and eastern coasts, respectively. Climate change and its associated impacts may include, but are not limited to, declines in livelihood diversity, migration, and disease. The government of Bangladesh and local residents have adopted various strategies in response to extreme events related to climate change. This review identifies further areas of research in relation to understanding of the distinctive impacts of climate change and developing synergy between institution- and community-led adaptation strategies.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edris Alam
    • 1
  • Salim Momtaz
    • 2
  • Hafiz Uddin Bhuiyan
    • 3
  • Sultana Nasrin Baby
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Geography and Environmental StudiesUniversity of ChittagongChittagongBangladesh
  2. 2.School of Environmental and Life SciencesUniversity of NewcastleOurimbahAustralia
  3. 3.Institute of Social Welfare and ResearchUniversity of DhakaDhakaBangladesh
  4. 4.Bass Coast Shire CouncilBass Coast ShireAustralia

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