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In 1974, an American satellite introduced the world to a previously undiscovered island, located in the Bay of Bengal. The island became the subject of an ownership dispute, so it was known by more than one name. The people of Bangladesh referred to it as South Talpatti Island, while it was known as New Moore Island or Purbasha in India.

It was small, according to the initial imagery. Later surveys would indicate gradual growth to approximately 2 miles of land mass in each direction, which is similar to the geographical area of the small midwestern town where I was raised

In 1981, an Indian flag was placed on the island, along with a Border Security Forces base, which was frequently visited by Indian naval gunships. The property dispute between Bangladesh and India is now a thing of the past, thanks to global warming.

Also, notice that all references being made above refer to the island in the past tense. This is also a result of the effects of global warming.

New Moore Island in the Sunderbans has been completely submerged, said oceanographer Sugata Hazra, a professor at Jadavpur University in Calcutta. Its disappearance has been confirmed by satellite imagery and sea patrols, he said.

"What these two countries could not achieve from years of talking, has been resolved by global warming," said Hazra.

Scientists at the School of Oceanographic Studies at the university have noted an alarming increase in the rate at which sea levels have risen over the past decade in the Bay of Bengal.

Until 2000, the sea levels rose about 3 millimeters (0.12 inches) a year, but over the last decade they have been rising about 5 millimeters (0.2 inches) annually, he said.

Another nearby island, Lohachara, was submerged in 1996, forcing its inhabitants to move to the mainland, while almost half the land of Ghoramara island was underwater, he said. At least 10 other islands in the area were at risk as well, Hazra said.

The disappearance of the island is consistent with recent data and projections which have implications far beyond the scope of geography and population of the town where I was raised.

(Sugata Hazra, the head of oceanography at Kolkata's Jadavpur University), said sea-level rise, changes in monsoonal rain patterns which altered river flows and land subsidence were all contributing to the inundation of land in the northern Bay of Bengal.

The low-lying delta region that makes up much of Bangladesh and the neighbouring Indian state of West Bengal are acutely vulnerable to climate change.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts rising sea levels will devour 17 per cent of Bangladesh by 2050, displacing at least 20 million people. More than 155 million people live in the country.

The Bangladesh non-governmental organisation Coastal Watch says an average of 11 Bangladeshis are losing their homes to rising waters every hour.

Professor Hazra predicts that 15 per cent of the Indian Sundarbans region on the northern shore of the Bay of Bengal will be submerged by 2020.

Originally posted to doug snodgrass on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 10:55 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  I'd tip & rec if I'd seen this earlier. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dsnodgrass

      I just read something the other day where the guy (not a scientist) was claiming sea levels wouldn't rise much and it would be no big deal, and I got pretty annoyed. It's kind of "a big fucking deal" (to quote Biden in a different context) if your island goes completely underwater. The whole Maldives will go sooner or later and then Tuvalu, probably. Nations being wiped away by man-made natural disasters.

      Starboard Broadside: Firing all guns at the Right since September 2008!

      by Cpt Robespierre on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 02:56:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  wow. some more info (9+ / 0-)

    can be found here.  An interesting observation on the futility of fighting over such things:

    What these two countries could not achieve from years of talking, has been resolved by global warming.

    what goes around comes around, buckwheat. -- AndyS in Colorado

    by bubbanomics on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 11:01:34 AM PDT

  •  To some the loss of such islands (11+ / 0-)

    may seem minor, but as the article link notes, the corresponding stretch of coastline in Bangladesh is home to millions who will become displaced, inevitably placing stress on their neighbors and available resources. Everything about the climate change process is happening faster and bigger than the worst projections of a few years ago. India may soon look back on the days when it was bickering over uninhabited territory with fond memory.

  •  What can I add? (5+ / 0-)

    Yes, global warming is real.

    It would be nice if just once, the loons of the right would notice reality.

    Fox sucks so bad they should collapse on themselves like a dying star.

    by slippytoad on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 11:05:51 AM PDT

    •  Don't you think (4+ / 0-)

      there's a willful avoidance of the facts by deniers? A greater need to be right first with what is right being driven by ideology, instead of gathering info first and letting the facts decide what is right?

      •  Of course (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stwriley, dsnodgrass

        Admitting that global climate disruption is real means admitting that the current economic system must change.  Since the powers that be worship (and not coincidentally benefit enormously from) the current economic system, admitting that global climate disruption is real and is caused by human industrialization is akin to child having to admit to him or herself that Santa Claus is not real (could have used harsher analogies but I am in a gentle mood today).

          •  I think "adjust" is a far more appropriate (0+ / 0-)
            word that keeps it in perspective. If people are told that the problem requires a huge change they tend to block it out, thats a common trick of propagandists.

            The reality is that we need a framework within which to declare all human beings real and "citizens", and most significantly, we being land animals, deserving of a right to exist on a physical piece of dry land to stand or lie down on without a reference being necessary to a piece of land to make them that way- because land may be covered by water or whatever

            We should have learned this from WWII and the huge stateless people issue that in part, precipitated it, (and which was exploited extensively by the most evil, see Hannah Arendt,"Origins of Totalitarianism" )- but humanity never affirmed a human right to exist- we didn't, to all of our peril.

            The NAFTA-like GATS and its ratchet effect is an potential minefield for public health care! It is SO important that EVERY Democrat needs to read up on it, NOW!

            by Andiamo on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 05:40:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  What's more (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Stwriley

          not a few right-wingers conflate economics and religion: communism is godless, so capitalism must be Christian--hey, one of the Ten Guiding Principles of the Conservative Bible Project  (you know, the one that wants to rewrite the bible to eliminate liberal bias) is "Express Free Market Parables".

          For those folks, accepting global climate chaos as real isn't like saying there is no Santa Claus; it's like saying God is dead.

          •  Who was it that threw those moneylenders (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cpt Robespierre
            out of the Temple?

            Adam Smith?

            The NAFTA-like GATS and its ratchet effect is an potential minefield for public health care! It is SO important that EVERY Democrat needs to read up on it, NOW!

            by Andiamo on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 05:41:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Jesus was a futurist. (0+ / 0-)
              I think that Christianity maintains respect for inherent value of the concept of money, a medium of exchange, and even of taxation, to a reasonable degree.

              But, clearly Jesus felt as if certain things were not right to charge for. Also, even though I'm not religious, (I'm basically a futurist)

               I can't help but wonder, how it was that Jesus got so many things right..

              For example, I get a feeling that he understood some things about the future that very few then or even now understand.

              Jesus was a futurist.

              The NAFTA-like GATS and its ratchet effect is an potential minefield for public health care! It is SO important that EVERY Democrat needs to read up on it, NOW!

              by Andiamo on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 05:52:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Be careful with the moneylending history... (0+ / 0-)

                There's a pretty good case to be made that all lenders who charged interest were seen as evil by most people because there wasn't inflation in most places until the Spanish Gold ships started coming back to Europe regularly. Modern economics (the system, not the study) basically started taking off after that.

                So the view Jesus would have had of money lenders is quite different than our modern understanding. Today, it's not economically viable to loan money without charging at least some interest, but back then, basically charging any interest was usurious because there was either zero inflation or deflation in most places.

                Starboard Broadside: Firing all guns at the Right since September 2008!

                by Cpt Robespierre on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 03:03:40 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  If that would only happen in Jerusalem now (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stwriley

    might make the 'peace process' a bit easier if the planet just swallowed up THAT particular bargaining chip ...

    "I want to keep them alive long enough that I can win them to Christ," - Rick Warren, Professional Greed Driven Scumbag

    by josephk on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 11:12:33 AM PDT

  •  We're seeing the beginning of a new era (7+ / 0-)

    of whole landless nations, entire nations of refugees.

    The leaders of the Maldives know this, and are shopping for new real estate because they can see plainly that the world isn't lifting a finger to help them as the sea levels rise.

    Other island nations and low-lying area face the same threat, including the Marshall Islands.

    The overwhelming consensus of 2,000+ scientific experts from the IPCC& 18 US scientific assns: climate change is happening and is a growing threat to our wo

    by Cenobyte on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 11:16:46 AM PDT

    •  Florida and much of Atlantic /Gulf coast (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Powered Grace, Cenobyte, Stwriley
      is low in elevation. The rise triggered by a single sudden event (Greenland or Antarctic glaciers/ice shelf collapse) could impact the US- its hard to tell by how much.

      We would have to build seawalls around urban areas. I don't know what would happen in California. Much of Central Calif. is very close to sea level.

      Lower Manhattan is also a kind of "ground zero" for global warming, as shown in the film "AI".

      The NAFTA-like GATS and its ratchet effect is an potential minefield for public health care! It is SO important that EVERY Democrat needs to read up on it, NOW!

      by Andiamo on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 11:40:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Please don't feed this troll. (0+ / 0-)

        Check its (many) hidden comments.

        "[The GOP wanting to debate Obama is like saying] 'Let's see how tough Aquaman is when we get him in the water.' " --Seth Meyers

        by homogenius on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 12:11:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Now, now homogenius... (0+ / 0-)

          I'm one of those who's chastised Andiamo for some of his previous behavior, but he's no troll.  He got a lot of hits for spamming the GATS stuff into comment threads, but he seems to have amended his ways, so I don't think we should just HR him or refuse him mojo because of what he did in the past.

          Conservito delenda est pro is deleo orbis terrarum!

          by Stwriley on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 12:21:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I would rather make a fool of myself and (0+ / 0-)
            have people become aware of an important issue than not- at least then I can live with myself-

            The NAFTA-like GATS and its ratchet effect is an potential minefield for public health care! It is SO important that EVERY Democrat needs to read up on it, NOW!

            by Andiamo on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 05:13:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  In my own defense (0+ / 0-)
              The people who hide them are often completely not understanding what I've been saying.

              Ive been accused of every bad thing in the book, but the things that the people who consistently have done that say to justify the HRs are almost always completely wrong as to my intent.

              It would be good if there was some way that people who had an urgent issue like this could get it out without these problems. i would be more than glad to try to figure that issue out with the management.

              its something Ive given a lot of thought to..

              This is a trust based system but its easily gamed and I suspect strongly that it is being gamed and thats very bad-

              Ive been honest, I have not set up sockpuppets or lied about any of this. My sole real issue is that I have occasionally snapped at people I really should have understood were not meaning what I thought they did.. But, we all do that.

              The NAFTA-like GATS and its ratchet effect is an potential minefield for public health care! It is SO important that EVERY Democrat needs to read up on it, NOW!

              by Andiamo on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 05:20:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  I see the hand of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dsnodgrass

    Benjamin Linus :)

    No Way, No How, No McCain

    by nerdngeek on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 11:29:03 AM PDT

  •  and the islands (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dsnodgrass

    are all kept equal.

  •  Glaciers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mwmwm, dsnodgrass

    If anyone wants to dispute with you the reality of global warming, just ask them why every glacier in the world has been retreating for years.

    "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

    by Demi Moaned on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 11:40:26 AM PDT

    •  Don't count on it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mwmwm, dsnodgrass

      If they're in contact with the wingnutosphere, they'll probably insist that a large proportion of the world's glaciers are expanding. Because of disinformation such as this.

      •  Yikes! (0+ / 0-)

        I guess we live in a world now in which there are no more facts, only different opinions.

        "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

        by Demi Moaned on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 12:37:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Its pointless trying to argue with people (0+ / 0-)
          whose minds are so ridiculously made up. Its a real tragedy that Americans are often really scientifically illiterate.

          If it makes us feel better, its not that uncommon elsewhere in the world, but educated people almost everywhere else know more about basic science than many Americans do.

          I like to send people to How Things Work, its really an amazing resource.

          The NAFTA-like GATS and its ratchet effect is an potential minefield for public health care! It is SO important that EVERY Democrat needs to read up on it, NOW!

          by Andiamo on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 06:03:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Hate to burst the bubble (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rick

    but this isn't being caused by sea level rise.

    This isn't a volcanic island, this is like the thousands of barrier beach islands which routinely get formed and destroyed by normal oceanic action.

    That is not to say that many islands that are currently in the sub-meter above sea-level range aren't in significant danger, just that THIS island wasn't a victim of AGW.

    Just business as usual.

    •  Someone who disagrees with you (0+ / 0-)

      is Sugata Hazra, the head of oceanography at Kolkata's Jadavpur University, who is quoted about this as follows:

      Sea-level rise caused by climate change was ''surely'' a factor in the island's inundation, Professor Hazra said.

      ''The rate of sea-level rise in this part of the northern Bay of Bengal is definitely attributable to climate change,'' he said.

      I'm not saying whether you are right or wrong, simply that there is a contrary view quoted in one of the sources I've linked.

      •  0.2 inches a year (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dsnodgrass

        Which means if this island was a meter above sea level, it would have taken more than 100 years for it to sink.

        I've got experience with this sort of erosion, I'm a member of the American Littoral Society, which is trying to rehabilitate Jamaica Bay in NYC.  These barrier beach islands, or brackish islands that are between salt and fresh water, are very susceptible to damage. They are for all practical purposes, loose mats of sea grasses holding together silt.  When they erode due to changes to outlying barrier beaches or silt redistribution, they die.  

        •  Not arguing with you (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dcoronata

          I personally am not qualified to do so. When I write, I tend to report, generally trying to not insert my opinion overtly.

          In what I wrote, one of the links contained quotes from an individual who would appear qualified to have a scientific view on this, and works specifically in that region. I'm simply saying that he took a view which appears to differ from yours.

          Not trying to be combative or question your credibility. We obviously have a shared goal, which is the more important point here.

    •  Not quite (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dsnodgrass

      A volcanic island would not be at risk in any case.  The change in elevation near the shore is too great.  What is happening here is that the loss of these islands in the Bay of Bengal and Bangladesh is being exacerbated by increases in storm intensity, greater river flows caused by glacial melting and, to a lesser, but real, extent, sea level rise, all consequences of man-made climate disruption.  While barrier islands have appeared and disappeared prior to man-made climate disruption, the process is accelerating at least in this area of the world.

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