Sundarbans: future imperfect climate adaptation report
The report highlights the following recurrent themes from the voices of inhabitants of the Sundarbans.
- Rising sea level: most of the islands in the Sundarbans are low lying, meaning that as the sea level rises, land is lost to the sea. This puts further pressure on agriculture production, yet the salinity of the water destroys the productivity of the soil.
- Unpredictable rainfall patterns: changing rainfall patterns are making conventional cultivation of crops difficult for farmers.
- Impact on fisheries: there are fewer fish because the increased salinity of water has caused them to migrate.
- Frequency and intensity of storms has increased causing further vulnerability.
- Environmental factors affecting farming: the contributing factors to decreasing rainfall and extreme weather can be scientifically measured using the ambient temperature change over land, as well as change in rainfall pattern and forest cover.
- Environmental factors affecting fishing: the studies show a steady decline in the catch per unit effort of fish and confirm that increasing salinity in the estuarine water is leading to a depletion of freshwater fish species.
- Sea level change and coastal erosion: the study concluded that the relative mean sea level in Sagar and adjoining areas of the Bay of Bengal was rising at 3.14mm per year, compared to a global estimate of between 0.5 and 3mm per year.
- Change in high intensity events: both studies concluded that although storms and cyclones were rarer, they tended to do more damage when they occurred.