Study challenges IPCC`s Bangladesh climate predictions

Last Updated: Thursday, April 22, 2010 - 19:58

Dhaka: Scientists in Bangladesh posed a fresh
challenge to the UN`s top climate change panel Thursday, saying
its doomsday forecasts for the country in the body`s landmark
2007 report were overblown.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),
already under fire for errors in the 2007 report, had said a
one-metre (three-foot) rise in sea levels would flood 17
per cent of Bangladesh and create 20 million refugees by
2050.

The warning helped create a widespread consensus that the
low-lying country was on the "front line" of climate change,
but a new study argues the IPCC ignored the role sediment
plays in countering sea level rises.

IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri defended his
organisation`s Bangladesh predictions today, warning that "on
the basis of one study one cannot jump to conclusions".

"The IPCC looks at a range of publications before we take
a balanced view on what`s likely to happen," he told a news agency by
telephone.

But the IPCC`s prediction did not take into account the
one billion tonnes of sediment carried by Himalayan rivers
into Bangladesh every year, the study funded by the Asian
Development Bank said.

"Sediments have been shaping Bangladesh`s coast for
thousands of years," said Maminul Haque Sarker, director of
the Dhaka-based Center for Environment and Geographic
Information Services (CEGIS), who led research for the study.

Previous "studies on the effects of climate change in
Bangladesh, including those quoted by the IPCC, did not
consider the role of sediment in the growth and adjustment
process of the country`s coast and rivers," he told AFP.

Even if sea levels rise a maximum one metre in line with
the IPCC`s 2007 predictions, the new study indicates most of
Bangladesh`s coastline will remain intact, said Sarker.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, April 22, 2010 - 19:58

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