Bangladesh's Landmass is Growing Yearly, But Gains from Sediment Deposits Will be Overtaken by Sea Level Rise

rickshaws driving through flooded dhaka streets photo

Rickshaws driving through flooded Dhaka, Bangladesh streets. Photo by Shahid Sarker.

Put this one in your "life's cruel ironies" file.

20 Square Kilometers Per Year Gained...
The BBC is reporting that researchers in Bangladesh say that their nation is actually getting larger by about 20 square kilometers a year. Sediments washed down the Ganges, Brahmaputra and numerous other rivers of Bangladesh each year are deposited in the delta which forms most of Bangladesh's landmass. Only about one-third of all sediment actually makes it into the Bay of Bengal. By 2060 Bangladesh could be up to 1000 sq. kilometers larger at this rate of deposition.
...But Sea Level Rise Will Still Take It Away
It's too bad though that, according to the lead author of the IPCC climate change report, Dr Atiq Rahman, this new land will still be inundated by rising sea levels caused by climate change. "The rate at which sediments is deposited and new land is created is much slower than the rate at which climate change and sea level rises are taking place."

It is estimated that by 2050, 17% of Bangladesh will be so inundated by water that the land will be uninhabitable and 30 million Bangladeshi's will be forced to move to higher ground.

I wonder if the rate of sediment deposition will actually increase as glacial melting increases in the Himalayas, before slowing again as the major rivers of South Asia become fed more by rain alone than by seasonal glacial melting. Not that this is likely to change the balance in the fight between sea level rise and land expansion however.

via :: BBC News
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