Recent Sudden Temperature Rise In Bangladesh

Taposhi Habiba

Bangladesh is one of the largest deltas in the world. It is formed by a dense network of the distributaries of the rivers Ganges, Brahmaputra and the Meghna with more than 230 major rivers, tributaries and distributaries. Almost over half of Bangladesh is north of the Tropics and the climate is characterized by high temperatures, heavy rainfall, high humidity and fairly marked seasonal variations because of the Himalayan Mountain Chain. There are kind of three seasons in Bangladesh: a hot sumer season, a hot and humid monsoon season, a cooler and drier winter season. 

But nowadays, the change in temperature of the weather seems to be a cause of much concern. The sweet glow of the soft sun of the morning seems to be disappearing in an instant. Morning is starting with the bright sun and by noon it is becoming unbearable. The people of Dhaka has witnessed such unbearable heat in the last 20 years. The temperature rise is almost 3 0C which is leading us towards a terrible future of climate change. 

The Meteorological Department has a record of temperature for the last 73 years. The highest temperature in Dhaka so far in the last 73 years is 42.3 degree Celsius. On April 25, 2021, the temperature of Dhaka was 42.2 degree Celsius. In April the normal maximum temperature remains at 33.6 degree Celsius. But this year the maximum temperature in April is 36.3 degree Celsius. 

Apart from Dhaka, Rajshahi, Chattogram, Khulna, Barishal and Sylhet have seen significant changes in temperature during day and night. Which is currently a matter of much concern. Why this sudden change in the weather? And is this change sudden or the cause of our unconsciousness for a long time? 

Why are these happening?

The first thing that comes to mind from these incidents of sudden temperature changes, low rainfall is climate change. The climate of Bangladesh has changed a lot in the last few years. This is also due to the geographical location of Bangladesh. The atmosphere of Bangladesh is warmer in April and May than at other times of the year. At this time, the slight aqueous vapour coming from the south over Bangladesh lowers the temperature. But this time the south wind has come very rarely. 

That is why the amount of rainfall has been less than half of the normal. And this is why the temperature is higher at this time. It can also be called the cause of climate change. Population density, lack of greenery, uneven building heights, overuse of air conditioners and other human activities are also some of the reasons for the rise in temperature in the densely populated cities of the country. Besides waste heat from vehicles, buildings and industrial areas are also exacerbating the problem of rising city temperatures. 

A survey conducted by SUHII (Surface Urban Heat Island Intensity) where the temperature of five cities was taken twice regularly from 2000 to 2019, said that big cities like Dhaka and Chattogram have a higher temperature than the smaller cities. 

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, urban heat islands occur when the city’s natural landscapes are covered with a variety of dense concentrations of pavement, buildings and other structures that absorb and retain heat. As a result, energy costs (such as air conditioning), the amount of air pollution and a variety of temperature-related diseases increase. 

What will happen shortly?

Thus it is needless to say that, if the population density and the density of buildings in the cities and the amount of deforestation continue to increase, then shortly Bangladesh will become an almost uninhabited desert. The choices we make now will determine what the average global temperature will be in the coming ages. 

If people continue to increase the number of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, destroy vegetation and become more attracted to urbanization, the Earth’s temperature could be rise by 4 to 120 F by the year 2100. And if we can make big changes like using renewable energy instead of fossil fuels and power plants then the amount of temperature increase will be less about 2 to 50 F. 

If the temperature continues to rise in this way, it will cause huge damage to agriculture, health and productivity in Bangladesh. These temperature rising are causing droughts in the villages which is causing massive crop damage. Rainfall is low in April. As much it rains, different crops grow. But if this continues, rainfall will decrease, which will cause drought in future. As Bangladesh is an agricultural country it can cost Bangladesh 6.7 percent of Gross Domestic Product and depress the living standard of more than three-quarters of the population by the year 2050. 

Hartwig Schafer, Vice President for South Asia Region, said, “Around the world, especially for Bangladesh climate change is an acute threat to development and efforts to end poverty. In addition to the coastal zones, the warming weather will severely affect the country’s inland areas in the next decades. To deal with climate change, the country needs to focus on creating jobs outside the agriculture sector and improve the capacity of its government institutions. The World Bank is committed to helping Bangladesh become more resilient to climate change.”

Muthukumara Mani, Report author and World Bank Lead Economist in the South Asia Region, says “These weather changes will result in lower per capita consumption levels that could further increase poverty and inequality in one of the poorest regions of the world, South Asia,”

By the year 2050, the Chattogram division will be the most vulnerable due to climate change. Seven of the top ten affected hotspot districts where average temperature and rainfall changes will harm life will be highest in the Chattogram district. The top two climate hotspot likely will be Cox’s Bazar and Bandarban, which could reduce their standard of living by 18 percent and more, followed by Chattogram, Rangamati and Noakhali.

What should we do?

The most talked about topic in the world is global warming. But is it possible to change it through negotiation? Necessary steps need to be taken along with the discussion. Increasing the use of renewable energy, reducing the use of energy, reducing engine-driven vehicles, using recyclable materials that can be reused, including metal waste etc., can be some of the initial steps. Above all, the amount of carbon in the atmosphere must be reduced. That means planting more trees and cutting down trees should be stopped completely. 

The rainy season is the best time for Bangladesh to plant trees. It is necessary to ensure that more trees are planted during the rainy season. Different geographers have given different opinions to reduce the heat of the city area of Bangladesh. Among them, they have emphasized increasing the amount of greenery in areas of the city where the amount of heat trafficking is higher than increasing the amount of vegetation in different places. 

And the most important thing is to create awareness among the people. Most of the people in Bangladesh are not aware of global warming, for which some problems are not being overcome. In this way, it is possible to gradually eliminate the problems caused by global warming. 

Author is a Student of Environmental Science and Engineering Department at Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University, Trishal, Mymensingh—2224, Bangladesh

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