Climate modification and creating weather refugees environmental sciences essay

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January 21st, 2018


1.1 Background

The world is undergoing a wide set of global changes, like alterations in population density, environment, resource use, land make use of, biodiversity, and urbanization and globalization operations. Climate change is one of the drivers of global transformation, which has through testmyprep the years been received strong emphasis by scientists, policy-manufacturers and leaders of the environment (Vitousek, 1994). At the moment climate change is recognized as emerging global danger that not only induces physical environmental impacts but also affects the social structures, economical factors and the overall development process (Birkmann, 2010). This emerging risk has introduced a new social community named ‘Environment Refugee’ specifically for the affected developing nations. The UN currently states that extra refugees are displaced by environmental catastrophes than wars, and the number of the weather refugee is a lot more than 25 million which is likely to turn into 50 million in coming decades (Meyers, 2002). Out of these 25 million persons about 10 million are from Africa who will be directly influenced by the climate change via droughts. The next largest group is usually from coastal areas of Asian countries, who are influenced by pure disasters like cyclones, storm surges, floods, salinity and droughts (Anon, 2010).

The cumulative ramifications of climate change exacerbate water and food insecurity, loss of biodiversity and ecosystem, environmental degradation and individual insecurity through social conflict, political conflict and violence in the damaged growing countries (Adger and Kelly, 1999). Hence, the socioeconomic structures happen to be undermined in these countries where the affected persons are compelled to switch over occupations for livelihood. These are the people who can’t ensure a secured livelihood within their origin of dwelling (Mayers, 2002). As well as climate change effects, inhabitants pressure trouble and hardcore poverty have got induced a significant change in the whole economic structure of these countries. Consequently, these countries are suffered from serious socio-economic inequality and interpersonal instability (Barnett, 2007).

Bangladesh often makes major news all over the world. However, unlike most other countries, it is not because of politics but for devastating natural catastrophes causing huge death tolls and substantial destruction. This Southern Asian LDC, since her independence in 1971, has got been struggling with many socioeconomic and socio-political concerns such as- rapid populace progress, poverty, illiteracy, gender disparity, slow monetary development, institutional inertia, political instability, violence and so forth. But from last two decades she started fighting a fresh problem- the adverse effects of climate transformation in the type of natural disasters (Miliband, 2009). Over the last two decades these disasters have become frequent phenomena contributed miserable suffering to an incredible number of inhabitants who are susceptible to the climatic shocks (GoB, 2005). In other words, weather risk for Bangladesh is relatively higher than almost every other countries of the globe. The Global Weather Risk Index made by Germanwatch implies that Bangladesh is at the surface of the ranking of most afflicted countries by climatic severe events over the last 2 decades. Table 1.1 shows the overall ranking made by Germanwatch.

Table 1.1 Long term Climate Risk Index (CRI) for some damaged countries for period 1990-2008




CRI Score

Death toll*


Total looses in million US$ PPP*

Losses per GDP in %*



















































Dominican Republic




















* Annual

Source: Germanwatch, 2010

that the most typical disasters happen to be flood and cyclone. Recent IPCC assessment reports (TAR, 2001 and AR4, 2007) also reveal that during the last two decades both of the above-mentioned disaster-events have grown to be more repeated and devastating for Bangladesh. It is learnt from IPCC reports that 5-10% increase in wind speed is very likOn basis of above-mentioned table, it really is easy to apprehend why Bangladesh was cited several occasions in COP15 held in Copenhagen in 2009 2009. At present this country is much more likely to uncovered towards climatic extreme events than the majority of the countries in the world (UNFCCC, 2009). These situations, in form of natural disasters range from ravaging cyclones to devastating floods (Muhammad, 2007). Pursuing Table 1.2 has an overall idea on most devastating disasters happened in Bangladesh since early on twentieth century. This table shows

Table 1.2 Disaster-log in Bangladesh since early 1900s














October 1942


August 1987




June 1988


May 1965




June 1965




July 1968






September 2000


July 1974




July 1983




May 1984



Source: EMDAT

likely during the cyclone-season in Bangladesh that could eventually enhance storm surge and coastal flooding, while 10-20% raises of wind intensity could cause floods both in coast and inlands as the cyclone creates property fall (Agarwala, 2003). It has been assessed that an increase of 2° C heat range and a 0.3 m sea level go up would cause a cyclone in the costal belt of Bangladesh as solid as cyclone of 1991; furthermore, such a cyclone will probably result in a 1.5 m bigger storm surge that may inundate 20% more land than 1991 cyclone (Ali, 1996). The most recent example of costal cyclone as practical effect of climate modification is SIDR which battered the coastal belt in Bangladesh on 15th November 2007. The wind speed was about 220 to 240 km/hour and at least 3,113 persons were known lifeless and a lot more than 10,000 were lacking; the damage due to this disaster have been around US$ 2.3 million (EMDAT, 2009). The intensity of SIDR was not less than the 1991 cyclone in a few area of the coastal areas and the effects was even more than that. Furthermore, on 27th Might 2009, another devastating cyclone named AILA struck the South-western part of Bangladesh and West Bengal of India, which exacerbated the suffering for the affected persons in Bangladesh; although an early on warning system enabled the evacuation of around 2.7 million people to higher surface and cyclone shelter-properties (BBC, 2009). It really is predicted a single meter go up of ocean level would inundate a lot more than 18% of the coastal belt and can affect 11% of the full total country’s inhabitants. Two-third of the whole country is only 10 m above the ocean level; therefore, about 13 million of the full total population may very well to be homeless and become environmental refugees as the victim of environment changing process (Huq et al, 1999). Khulna and Barisal, the costal divisions of Bangladesh are fairly disaster-prone, where about 3.2 million people are at risk and about one-eighth of the country’s agricultural lands and more than 8,000 communication networks will tend to be affected because of climate change effects (Parvin, 2010).

1.2 Affirmation of the problem

About one third of the territory of Bangladesh is definitely delimited as coastal areas which are combined of distinctive chances, diversified threats and vulnerabilities (HarunOrRashid, 2009). It is because coastal areas possess different geo-physical and environmental characteristics that distinguish the coastal area from rest of the country. These distinctive qualities will be interplay of tidal regime, salinity in soil and normal water, cyclone and storm surge; with monetary and cultural implications on the population (PDO-ICZMP, 2003). Consequently, such identical geo-physical pattern has introduced a completely different livelihood structure, where people are participating with selected coastal economic activities like fishing, salt development, fry collection from the sea and source collection from the adjacent mangrove forest (Ahmed, 2003, Islam, 2004).

Although the coastal areas are much more fertile terrain for agricultural creation, these areas are relatively income-poor compared to the rest of the country. Standard per capita GDP (at current market selling price) in the coastal zone was US$ 402 in 2008, compared to US$ 621 for the whole country typically (GoB, 2009; CDP, 2009). There are ten unique ethnic communities

surviving in the coastal zones plus they have complete different cultures and livelihood patterns. Combined with the nontribal persons, those ethnic communities totally be based upon the coastal natural resources for his or her livelihood (Kamal, 2001). Their despair and wish, plight and struggle, vulnerability and resilience are uniquely revolved round in an intricate ecological and public setting which will make their livelihoods special from other parts of the country to a considerable extent.

The Federal government of Bangladesh has already recognized coastal zone as regions of enormous potentials. On the other hand, these areas happen to be lagging behind in socio-economic production and vulnerable to different natural disasters and environmental degradation (Sevaraju, 2006). For a LDC like Bangladesh where in fact the climate change takes a form of natural disaster not only affects the socio-economic state of coastal communities but likewise hinders obtaining an optimal GDP growth (ADPC, 2007). Climate change poses a substantial threat for Bangladesh, specially the projected climate change results include sea level rise, higher temperature, enhanced monsoon precipitation and run-off, potentially reduced dried season precipitation and increase in cyclone intensity in this region (Agrawala, 2003). Those threats would induce considerable impediments to the socioeconomic production of Bangladesh including coastal areas. A subjective rank of key climate change results for coastal Bangladesh identifies cyclone and ocean level rise as being of the best priority regarding severity, certainty and urgency of effects (Parvin, 2009).

National Adaptation Plan of Actions (NAPA) and other scholars have discovered the coastal areas of Bangladesh as one of the most affected areas on the globe because of the threats of climate switch effects (GoB 2005). In the southwestern component of Bangladesh the physical isolation of coastal communities would make them highly resource-dependent available around the coastline and adjacent mangrove forest (the Sundarbans), which minimizes their opportunities to gain access to to alternative livelihoods certainly. These hindrances help to make the coastal communities susceptible to any disruption, specifically to natural catestrophes. Consequently, households in coastal communities have problems with imbalance of sociable and economic powers, insufficient participation in decision-producing, limited or zero asset possession, and regulations influencing people’s ability to use assets or usage of solutions (Pomeroy et al., 2006).

1.3 Justification of the study

There are just a few amount of studies have been carried out on coastal Bangladesh. These studies are predominantly conducted on hazard warning and evacuation system (Paul and Dutt, 2010), health security because of disaster (Ray-Bennet et al., 2010), physical accidents during cyclones (Paul, 2009), and coastal hazards and community-coping method (Parvin, 2009). So, almost all of these studies focused on the coping and adaptation mechanisms in coastal areas. However, we hardly find any review that tackled the socioeconomic vulnerability in regional degree of coastal zone, specifically in the southwestern part of Bangladesh. Consequently, without determining local-level vulnerability style the advised coping or adaptation device may very well be least effective the truth is. In this study we attempt to fill up the knowledge gap by identifying quantitative local-level vulnerability at first; then we search for optimal adaptation options based on empirical marriage between vulnerability and crucial socioeconomic parameters. We determined Koyra upazila [1] as our research area, which one of the most disaster-prone areas in southwestern coastal area of Bangladesh.

1.4 Research problems and objectives of the study

Considering all the above-mentioned points, we proceed with the discovery of logical answers of pursuing research questions;

What may be the symptom of climate switch in the study area?

Which major climatic factors constitute for climate switch here?

Which factors exacerbate such vulnerability? Is there any single element or multiple factors?

What is the aspect and magnitude of relationship between this vulnerability and socioeconomic elements in the analysis area?

What will be the possible adaptation options when it comes to convenience of the vulnerable households in review area?

The above-mentioned research inquiries are addressed by the analysis objectives. Hence, the primary study objectives are;

To understand and find out the manifestation of weather change in the study area,

To quantify socioeconomic vulnerability and examine the nature and magnitude of the relationship between vulnerability and key socioeconomic parameters of the study area, and

To identify and advise the perfect adaptation options when it comes to potential of households in the analysis area while addressing socioeconomic vulnerability.

1.5 Outline of this study

This study includes nine chapters. Why don’t we have a glimpse at the simple contents of all chapters chronologically.

Chapter one is intro. It provides an overall scenario on Bangladesh’s position in relations with environment change effects. We briefly discuss about the condition statement and we identify the practical know-how gap of socioeconomic vulnerability in the study area. We conclude this chapter by mentioning several research issues, which are addressed by three key objectives of the study.

In Chapter two we give attention to the theoretical background and theoretical framework because of this study. Under theoretical history we talk about and briefly go over relevant literatures relative to our study objectives. Then we depict the theoretical framework because of this study, which is used for quantifying socioeconomic vulnerability of the study area.

We mention about the methodology of this study in Chapter three. In this chapter we give attention to types of research that people have adopted in this research. Then in accordance with study objectives we mention associated data type, collection tactics and data sources. We likewise mention the sampling approach and sampling size. The engineering of vulnerability index is mentioned in this chapter. Finally we conclude by mentioning the impediments those we faced while accomplishing this analysis.

Chapter four handles the description of study region Koyra. We mention important information about geographical location, administration, topographic, physiographic and socioeconomic condition. We add a ‘Disaster Calendar’ for our study area that we made by collecting data from households.

Chapter five handles identification of climate switch results and quantification of socioeconomic vulnerability at regional level of study area. In this we display possible climate change effects in the study area predicated on empirical data and Concentration Group Discussion (FGD) findings. Later we quantify vulnerability for every single union [2] by applying the Vulnerability Index. We display union-wise vulnerability with the help of maps.

Once we’ve quantified vulnerability, we conduct numerous econometric analyses in Chapter six so that you can show romantic relationship between vulnerability and crucial socioeconomic parameters of research region. We mention the main findings from analyses in two diverse tables. We likewise put brief description of models and variables found in this study.

In Chapter seven we talk about the main findings obtained from version analyses in elaborated way. Here we also mention the possible reasons behind the type and extent of romance between vulnerability and socioeconomic parameters of research area. At the conclusion of the chapter we examine the regularity of vulnerability index by applying an alternative way. Subsequent regression coefficients of alternative approach are also tested and compared with the old model outcomes.

Based on the benefits of relationship pointed out in chapter six and seven; we recommend the optimal adaptation alternatives for the affected people through brief explanation in Chapter eight. We also draw few of our recommendations on basis of correlation between different variables. The existing adaptation options in review area are also described in Chapter eight.

We conclude this research in Chapter nine. We summarize significant findings from this study in a nut shell. Besides, we concentrate on shortcomings of the procedure we employed to quantify vulnerability. In okay we mention the problems that we didn’t address in this research where further research could be conducted.


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