People who leave their communities and family homes due to effects of climate change and global warming are referred to as climate refugees. On the other hand, the term environmental refugees describe people who have left their traditional habitats either permanently or temporarily due to perceived natural or human-made environmental hazards that may jeopardize their existence or adversely affect their quality of life (Priya, Young, Hopson, & Avasthi, 2017).
Global warming is one of the cause of flooding especially in Bangladesh. Global warming refers to the perceived rise in the average temperatures of the worlds ecosystem and its associated effects. Since late 1880's to date, the global air, and oceanic temperatures have been progressively increasing. The Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers in Bangladesh frequently experience early flooding as a result of climatic change caused by global warming (Parvin, Fujita, Matsuyama, Shaw & Sakamoto, 2015).
The Himalayas Mountain have a dense cover of ice. Due to rise in the global temperatures, the ice on the mountain melts early and in large quantities. Large amounts of water from the melted ice flows through the Ganges and Brahmaputra Rivers adding to the large volumes of water from the monsoon rains that rains across Asia. These large amounts of water from the melted ice to the monsoon rainwater causes the rivers to flood (Priya et al. 2017).
The monsoon rains covering the Asia regions is the other cause of floods in Bangladesh. These rains are influenced many factors including atmospheric and oceanic temperatures, and trends in the world climate changes. Also, the amount of ice in the Himalayas and Antarctica is known to have an impact on the occurrence of the heavy rains across the region (Dewan, 2015). Changes in the oceanic surface temperatures adjacent to the equator across Asia is attributed to global warming.
The Indo-Pacific Warm Pool influences the monsoon rainfall. The rise of oceanic and atmospheric temperatures leads to this pool of becoming extra warm resulting in high amounts of rain. The increase in the componential temperatures can be attributed to climatic change due to both human-made activities and also physical changes. Greenhouse gases emitted from the manufacturing industries, motor vehicles and other activities associated with humans contribute to the warming of the water pool thus high amounts of monsoon rainfall (Whitehead et al. 2015).
Indiscriminate logging is another catalyst to flooding. The increasing populations in Bangladesh, especially in Nepal and Tibet, has motivated people to infringe the forest cover through deforestation. Trees have been cut to pave the way for settlements, grazing lands, and fuel. Forest covers help reduce greenhouse gases like carbon II oxide thus minimizing the effects of global warming. Deforestation works to aggregate the challenge of increasing global temperatures ((Parvin et al. 2015).
Flooding in Bangladesh has come with a host of adverse consequences. Firstly, people have lost their lives as a result of the flood water drowning them (Dewan, 2015). Heavy monsoon rains and water from the Himalayas breaks the mud banks burying tin-roofed houses. Most of those killed are casualties of flash floods, landslides or hit by collapsing walls. Secondly, flooding displaces people from their settlements and homes (Guiteras, Jina & Mobarak, 2015). After heavy rains and the swelling of the Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers, their lands get submerged in water thus denying the communities living nearby their livelihoods. Also, their agricultural activities are greatly affected by the flood water by eroding the fertile soil (Huq, Huge, Boon & Gain, 2015).
Global warming is the leading cause of the shifts in the climate trends of the world. Among the causes of global warming include emitting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and deforestation (Huq et al. 2015). Rising of the atmospheric and oceanic temperatures may lead to melting of ice found on mountains like the Himalayas which results in the flooding of Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers. Thus measures that could reduce global warming like industrial awareness on greenhouse gases and afforestation when employed could help reduce flooding incidences in Bangladesh.
Dewan, T. H. (2015). Societal impacts and vulnerability to floods in Bangladesh and Nepal. Weather and Climate Extremes, 7, 36-42.
Guiteras, R., Jina, A., & Mobarak, A. M. (2015). Satellites, self-reports, and submersion: exposure to floods in Bangladesh. American Economic Review, 105(5), 232-36.
Huq, N., Huge, J., Boon, E., & Gain, A. K. (2015). Climate change impacts in agricultural communities in rural areas of coastal Bangladesh: a tale of many stories. Sustainability, 7(7), 8437-8460.
Parvin, G. A., Fujita, K., Matsuyama, A., Shaw, R., & Sakamoto, M. (2015). Climate change, flood, food security and human health: cross-cutting issues in Bangladesh. In Food Security and Risk Reduction in Bangladesh (pp. 235-254). Springer, Tokyo.
Priya, S., Young, W., Hopson, T., & Avasthi, A. (2017). Flood Risk Assessment and Forecasting for the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna River Basins.
Whitehead, P. G., Barbour, E., Futter, M. N., Sarkar, S., Rodda, H., Caesar, J., ... & Salehin, M. (2015). Impacts of climate change and socio-economic scenarios on flow and water quality of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna (GBM) river systems: low flow and flood statistics. Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts, 17(6), 1057-1069.
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