Potential impact of sea-level rise on Bangladesh

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31. Bangladesh, one of the world's poorest nations is also the country most vulnerable to sea-level rise. The population is already severely affected by storm surges. Catastrophic events in the past have caused damage up to 100 km inland. It is hard to imagine to what extent these catastrophes would be with accelerated sea-level rise.

Digital terrain modelling techniques have been used to display the Bangladesh scenarios. A three dimensional view of the country has been overlaid with the current coastline and major rivers and potential future sea levels at 1,5 meters.

Since this scenario was calculated in 1989, the expected rate of sea level rise has been modified. At present expected rates, this stage will occur in about 150 years from now.

Scenario Land area
'000km2
Population 1989
'000'000 est.
Population 2030
'000'000 est.
150 cm 22 (16%) 17 (15%) 34 (15%)
Bangladesh tot 134 (100%) 112 (100%) 224 (100%)

The data given here are course estimates, using the same parameters as Delft Hydraulics. (UNEP/Delft 1989)

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