BY M. R AYAZ ROBI
Almost all of the Countries in the world now agreed that the increasing security threats posed by climate change – particularly the risks to global peace and security that posed by rising sea levels what may become a threat. Bangladesh is no exception here.
In fact, Bangladesh is one of the Countries most at risk from the sea level rise. Although, sea level rise originates from climate, it is also man-made. Growing population, increased demand for natural resources, deforestation, depletion of the ozone layer, excessive carbon emissions, excessive emissions of gases, carbon, carbon monoxide from industrialization in developed countries and massive urbanization have increased the sea level to dangerous levels.
In a research report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Proceedings of the National Academy of Science), researchers say that if carbon emissions continue at the current rate, the global temperature may increase by 5 degrees Celsius by the year 2100. In that case, the sea level may rise by 62 to 238 cm. Researchers say that if the temperature does not increase by more than 2 degrees Celsius in 2100, then only Greenland will be affected by the rise in sea level. But if it rises more than 2 degrees Celsius, Antarctica will also begin to melt at a massive rate. If carbon emissions cannot be curbed, the world will have to suffer worse consequences than expected.
Bangladesh will not be left out.
Low-lying countries around the world will suffer the most from sea level rise, with Bangladesh being one of them. A study by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an intergovernmental organization dealing with climate change, says that if the sea level rises by 1 meter (39.37 inches), 17-20 percent of Bangladesh’s land area will be submerged in water. According to Bangladesh’s National Strategy on Climate Change, this will result in 2.5 million people becoming climate-refugees. However, independent studies suggest that this number may reach 3 to 3.5 million.
According to a recent study by NASA, within the next 100 years, many parts of the coastal region of Bangladesh, including the port city of Chittagong, are at risk of disappearing under the sea. But it can be said without hesitation that the consequences of sea level rise will not be limited to the security of Bangladesh but it will become a threat to international and regional security.
Some of the island states will be the most affected by sea level rise. The Maldives, Papua New Guinea and other small island nations in the Pacific Ocean will be completely submerged. These countries will become uninhabitable before they are completely submerged. Apart from this, East Asia, Middle East and North Africa are quite at risk. may be mentioned here. 8 out of the 10 largest megacities in the world are located in coastal areas. Two-thirds of the world’s people live within 100 kilometers of ocean. Therefore, a large number of people are at risk of displacement due to sea level rise. It is not possible for developing countries like Bangladesh, whose resources are limited, to overcome this loss.
Rising sea levels will have adverse effects on economies around the world. Coastal infrastructure—seaports, roads and rail links—will suffer. Global trade will be disrupted as ports become less efficient. This will reduce the capacity of coastal cities and states to serve people, making states fragile.
The impact of sea level rise on biodiversity will be devastating. Saline water contamination will change the quality of soil in coastal areas, which will adversely affect the biodiversity of the area, especially vegetation. The adverse effects we are currently witnessing on the Sundarbans of Bangladesh will become more dire. Many marine species will face an existential crisis. Because, due to the change in water level, they will suffer from lack of light and oxygen.
In short, changes in sea level will destroy the entire world’s biodiversity. The problems caused by rising sea levels will act as a ‘threat multiplier’. As a result, problems that already exist in different countries will become more pronounced, which will ultimately push them into conflict. Countries with weak governance will make these problems more fragile.
It is not possible to completely stop the process of sea level rise. Rather, our aim should be to reduce the rate of growth. In addition, we need to pay special attention to the joint management of various national and international organizations to deal with the security risks that will arise due to the rise in sea level. Emphasis should be placed not only on planning but also on implementation. Only then will it be possible to keep the future safe.
( to be continued….)