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Sea Level Rise threatens Bangledeshs’ Existence by CityTech blogger Arman Sarowar

Bangladesh, a small third world country located east-south Asia has: a population of 164 million people in a total land area of 50,300 square miles, which means that it is roughly about 3,200 people per square mile. To get a better picture of how big the entire size of Bangladesh is, picture the size of New York State. However, the massive concentration of people in such a small area is not what the real problem is for the future of Bangladesh. The real problem is the possibility of Bangladesh being under water in the future. This means 165 million lives are in danger here! According to Scientific American, a three-foot rise in sea level would submerge almost 20 percent of the country and displace more than 30 million people. The actual rise of sea level by the year 2100 may be significantly more.


Almost a quarter of Bangladesh is less than seven feet above sea level and two-thirds of the country is less than 15 feet above sea level. Most of Bengalis live along coastal areas where the soils there provide some of the best farmland in the country. Already in certain parts of Bangladesh this sea level problem is more than obvious. Structures are being built to avoid being flooded in the future if sea levels do rise. In the remote village of Premasia, Bangladesh, visible remains of past floods can be witnessed where croplands are permanently ruined from salt deposits. Their three-story concrete school is raised on stilts.


The reason for the rise of sea level near Bangladesh is that sea surface temperatures in the shallow Bay of Bengal have significantly increased, which scientists believe has caused Bangladesh to suffer some of the fastest recorded sea level rises in the world. In these past years, between 50,000 and 200,000 people have been displaced annually due to riverbank erosion.

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5 Responses

  1. What do you see the future of Bangladesh being if the sea level rise continues? Sea surface temperatures increasing is definitely a cause for concern. Do you know of any ways to protect the land from sea level rise? You mention structures being built, have these been effective and what materials do they use? Thank you for sharing what is going on in Bangladesh. The amount of people being displaced is terrible and I hope that the structures being built will prevent more people from having to move in the future.

    1. thanks for commenting, Lauren. Yes, Arman raises some serious issues that will be with us for a long time, perhaps there will be constructive answers and positive developments to fend off SLR

  2. It is very scary to hear about the threat that sea level rise that faces Bangladesh. The reason this is so troublesome is not only because of the fact that the current infrastructure is in danger, but also because so many people could be displaced. It is interesting to hear about how the soil salinity has risen as a result of sea current floods. I think that these are the near-term consequences of climate change that so many of us tend to overlook.

    Also on a side note here is an article about why the term “third world country” is problematic

  3. a lot of places in Asia have been suffering due to this same situation and many small island within Asia have been erased from the map for quite some time now. It seems as though these people are left to fight for their own safety unfortunately because there isn’t much anyone can do about it, no matter how many walls or barriers may be built to keep the water from damaging anyone lives the water will keep rising over the years and basically taking back what belongs to it. I as well as Lauren hope that shelters or safety/evacuation plans are being practiced within the affected areas to prevent from having such a large amount of people with out shelter.

  4. Thanks for drawing our attention to this important issue. I’d like to emphasize Alexander’s comment about referring to Bangladesh as a “third world country,” which is outmoded. “Developing country” is a better term. This issue is relevant all over the world, but issues of environmental justice definitely come into play, with poorer populations in the U.S. and around the globe often relegated to more vulnerable regions because they do not have the means to find other homes. This, of course, will only be getting worse as sea levels and temperatures rise.

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