Other Recent Articles

How do other recent research articles compare with the preceding page, particularly to the effects of climate change?  To find out, peer reviewed articles from recent years were examined; most from 2020-2021.  

A summary of the main findings are below:

There will be more intense monsoon rains, more erratic weather.  There will likely be more drought or more severe drought, especially in already drought prone areas.  There will be increased cyclone strength, more salinity intrusion resulting in higher amounts of saline soil that will be difficult or impossible to farm.  Agriculture production will see serious decreases, and farm values will decrease.

More extreme heat, especially in the western part of Bangladesh will become more prevalent.  Soil arsenic may interact with climate change conditions, increasing in the rooting zone of rice, decreasing production and increasing arsenic quantity in the rice grains. 

Much of the impacts of climate change on agriculture will come from increased salinization of the soil, reducing agriculture and driving movement of people from the area.

All of the above are dependent on many factors, not the least of which is how humans manage the system.

Click image below to watch recent video by World Bank on Climate Change and health effects in Bangladesh

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Specific Article Summaries

For more information read the short summaries of individual articles below.  If deeper exploration is desired use the citation to find individual articles or/and abstracts.

Climate Change Impacts

Mojid, M. A. (2020). Climate change-induced challenges to sustainable development in Bangladesh. In IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science (Vol. 423, No. 1, p. 012001). IOP Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1088/1755-1315/423/1/012001

There are many interactions with climate change and they are already affecting Bangladesh.  It is not a matter of hitting in the future, it is here now – with agriculture being one the main areas affected.  Impacts are summarized in four different areas: 


i.    Monsoon rains that will be more intense and erratic resulting in higher river flows, increased bank erosion and sedimentation


ii.    Rainfall that is lower and more erratic in the dry season resulting in more drought in drought prone areas and increased salinity intrusion 


iii.    The rise of sea levels resulting in submergence of land and salinity intrusion up coastal rivers and in groundwater


iv.    Increase in frequency of  severe tropical cyclones including higher wind speeds and storm surges resulting in more damage in the coastal region


All these will seriously affect the welfare of people living in affected areas and the whole of Bangladesh.  There will be significant losses in productivity and assets.
 

Climate Change Modelling

Choi, Y.-W., Campbell, D. J., Aldridge, J. C., & Eltahir, E. A. B. (2021). Near-term regional climate change over Bangladesh. Climate Dynamics, 2021(1), 1–19. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-021-05856-z


Bangladesh’s position near the Bay of Bengal, with typically high humidity and hot temperatures, helps it to be prone to extreme weather events.  That, along with its very dense population, helps make it a special area of concern when it comes to climate change.  Using the MIT Regional Climate Model (MRCM), researchers showed that the western part of Bangladesh will be more susceptible to extreme heat.  It also shows that populations moving inland will still face risks in addition to those faced near the coast (rising seawater and extreme cyclones).  Inland areas will face periodic extreme temperatures particularly towards the west.   

Alamgir, M.; Khan, N.; Shahid, S.; Yaseen, Z.M.; Dewan, A.; Hassan, Q.; Rasheed, B. Evaluating severity–area–frequency (SAF) of seasonal droughts in Bangladesh under climate change scenarios. Stoch. Environ. Res. Risk Assess. 2020, 1–18.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00477-020-01768-2

Modeling results indicated that moderate and severe droughts will affect Bangladesh more than milder and extreme droughts.  The non-winter season droughts will be the most severe and affects significant parts of the country.  More frequent droughts are predicted to affect larger areas in the middle of this century (2040-2069). 
 

Impacts on Agriculture

Hossain MS, Arshad M, Qian L, Zhao M, Mehmood Y, Kächele H (2019b) Economic impact of climate change on crop farming in Bangladesh: an application of Ricardian method. Ecol Econ 164: 106354.  DOI:10.1016/j.ecolind.2020.106181

The impacts of climate change must be considered not just in how it reduces current farm income but how it can cause a reduction in future farm values. Increased flooding and temperatures both negatively contribute to lower farm values.    Strategies need to be developed that contribute to sustained  productivity and value in the face of increasing climate change.

Muehe, E. M.; Wang, T.; Kerl, C. F.; Planer-Friedrich, B.; Fendorf, S., Rice production threatened by coupled stresses of climate and soil arsenic.  Nat. Commun. 2019, 10, (1), 4985.  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-12946-4

A green house study indicated that with future climate changes, arsenite – the more toxic form of arsenic in the soil – will increase in the area of the rhizosphere -  the area around the rice roots.  The study indicated that with the increase of this toxic form of arsenic in the soil water, rice grain yields will significantly decrease and in addition there will be a significant increase in arsenic concentrations in the rice grain.  The increase in inorganic arsenic in rice grain increases the probability for human exposure to arsenic.  It is suggested that researching different rice varieties and cropping methods is needed to reduce the effects of the combined stresses of arsenic and climate change.

 

Soil Salinity

Islam, A.; Shelia, V.; Ludwig, F.; de Bruyn, L.L.; Rahman, M.H.U.; Hoogenboom, G. Bringing Farmers’ Perceptions into Science and Policy: Understanding Salinity Tolerance of Rice in Southwestern IBangladesh Under Climate Change. Land Use Policy 2021, 101, 105159, doi:10.1016/j.landusepol.2020.105159.

Increasing salinization of soils in the coastal areas of Bangladesh is a major problem, especially with climate change driving salt water further inland.   Concerns are how that is affecting rice production. Observations are that panicle emergence in rice is when the rice crop is most vulnerable to salinity stress.  In SW coastal areas of Bangladesh, salinity levels peak close to panicle emergence for the Boro rice season (March to April).  


The salinity tolerance threshold is 4–5 dS/m for traditional Boro season rice varieties and 8–10 dS/m for newly released salt-tolerant rice varieties.  The threshold point for traditional rice varieties may have already been reached in some areas of coastal SW Bangladesh.  The threshold point for salt-tolerant varieties might be reached in the near future.

Chen, J.; Mueller, V. Coastal climate change, soil salinity and human migration in Bangladesh. Nat. Clim. Chang. 2018, 8, 981. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-018-0313-8

Study indicates that it is not sea rise by itself that would have effect on agricultural production and human migration inland, internally or externally, but the increased soil salinization by the rising water and increased storm surges as a result of climate change.  Increase salinity will have negative consequences on crop production and also drive diversification in aquaculture.

 

Salehin M, Chowdhury MMA, Clarke D, Mondal S, Nowreen S, Jahiruddin M, Haque A (2018) Mechanisms and drivers of soil salinity in Coastal Bangladesh. In: Nicholls R, Hutton CW, Adger W, Hanson S, Rahman M, Salehin M (eds) Ecosystem services for well-being in deltas. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-71093-8_18
 

Soil salinity is a limiting factor in the southwest coastal region with a complex linkage between it and factors such as surface and ground water salinity and human management of water resources.  All these factors are being influenced by climate change in this sensitive area.


Irrigation water during the dry season is an important factor in the amount of salt in soils in this region.    Research has shown that irrigating with water up to four parts per thousand of salt is maintainable but much over that and salts start to accumulate with monsoon rains being unable to flush them out.


Climate change is already affecting agriculture.   Productivity is expected to decrease by 25% in a few districts by 2050. Some areas within these districts may experience yield reductions of 50%.  Other areas already experiencing severe soil salinity near the coast will probably cease agricultural production in decades to come.
 

 

Salinity in Drinking Water

 

Rakib, M.A.; Sasaki, J.; Matsuda, H.; Quraishi, S.B.; Mahmud, M.J.; Bodrud-Doza, M.; Bhuiyan, M.A. Groundwater salinization and associated co-contamination risk increase severe drinking water vulnerabilities in the southwestern coast of Bangladesh.  Chemosphere 2019. 

 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.125646

In a study in the coastal area of Bangladesh, shallow groundwater was tested and households were questioned.  Drinking water standards were exceeded 30-100% of the time.  The effects of possible saltwater intrusion were seen along the study area.

  
The results add to the evidence that salinity has increased, along with resultant health problems, over the past several years.  Salt water intrusion and resulting problems have been intensified by the results of climate change including sea level rise, intensified storm surges, flooding and other problems