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52. The Ganges Delta • Bangladesh

We have selected 100 unique places on Earth that are projected to undergo profound changes within the next few generations. We based our selection of the 100 places on the 4th Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Simply by drawing attention to the beauty of these places, 100 Places to Remember Before they Disappear creates an argument to preserve them. The 100 Places we have chosen to highlight, and the people who live in them, are in serious danger because of rising sea levels, rising temperatures and extreme weather events triggered by climate change. Among ambassadors are Joss Stone, Desmund Tutu for more info visit The Bengali Breadbasket I cannot keep your waves, says the bank to the river. Let me keep your footprints in my heart. These words by the Bengali poet and Nobel Prize winner Rabindranath Tangore known as The Bard of Bengal are as prescient today as they were when he wrote them almost a century ago. The two great rivers of Ganges and Brahmaputra meet in the Bay of Bengal. Rich nutrients from the rivers feed the soil of the paddy-fields in the low-lying Ganges Delta, and are crucial for local farmers. Some 300 million people depend on the crops produced here, 130 million of them living in the delta itself. The delta spreads over a massive 105,000 square kilometers, covering the whole of the southern part of Bangladesh and continuing into the Indian state of West Bengal. It is extremely vulnerable to climate change, as this is likely to increase rainfall and cause more frequent and strong flooding and hurricanes. With temperatures predicted to increase, sea levels are expected to rise significantly throughout this century. This will lead to parts of the Ganges Delta being permanently flooded within the next 50 years. By 2050, about a million people may have been forced to leave farmland in the delta.
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