G20 climate talks in Bali, Indonesia have been unable to agree a joint communique, amid objections over language used on climate targets and the war in Ukraine, the media report said. Although Indonesia’s Environment Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar had started the meeting by urging countries to cut emissions and prevent the planet from being pushed to a point “where no future will be sustainable”, but some countries, including China, had objected to previously agreed language in the Glasgow climate pact and past G20 agreements on efforts to limit global average temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius, said an official with knowledge of the meeting, declining to be identified because they were not authorized to speak to the media, reports Reuters.

FEBRUARY 19, 1988 | DHAKA ——– ——– MARCH 20, 2022 | DHAKA
The growth of the city is evident in the Landsat images above. The Thematic Mapper on Landsat 5 captured the first image on February 19, 1988; the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 captured the second on March 20, 2022. Source: earthobservatory.nasa.gov

The report of NASA on Bangladesh, which is one of the most vulnerable country to climate change, came into view while reading the disappointing news of G20 talks. It seems, we are running towards a mirage. The world is demanding solution, but the leaders are busy in debate and commitment, then everything goes in about empty. Although the G20 emits 75 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases, they are not participating in the reduction process properly. Financing discussions are not getting much importance, and finance is not being given as per their commitment. The whole discussion is turning into a stalemate.

More: Supports to Flood Victims Farmers, 2015

We must bear the burns whether climate talks proceed in successful or not. So, let’s look at our risks. NASA report forecasted that many people now live in the areas prone of flooding. A team of researchers from Penn State, Curtin University, and the University of Chittagong recently analyzed satellite observations of nighttime lights and land use to track population growth in flood-prone areas. In June 2022, they reported that roughly 70 million people in Bangladesh now live in flood-prone areas (within 2 kilometers of a river), about 1.5 million more than in 2000. In Dhaka, about 6 million people live in flood zones.

The researchers based part of their analysis on nighttime observations from the Operational Linescan System (OLS) on U.S. Defense Meteorological Satellite Program satellites and the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi-NPP satellite. Cities throughout Bangladesh saw increased light in floodplains throughout the country from 2000 to 2018. Dhaka, Chattogram, Khulna, Sylhet, and Mymensingh were among the cities with pronounced increases. The image above shows nighttime lights in Bangladesh as observed with the VIIRS day-night band on December 1, 2021.

“The total nighttime light luminosity within 2 kilometers of rivers increased by 235 percent throughout Bangladesh,” said Arif Masrur, the Penn State University geographer who co-authored the study. “As the population grows, the scarcity of land is fueling unplanned development in floodplains. More people are moving into floodplains to farm rice or fish, or to simply have somewhere to live.”

More: Loss and damage of flood 2020

The number of people in floodplains may even be larger than the nighttime luminosity data suggests. “It is safe to assume that many households within 2 kilometers of rivers lack connections to the electrical grid,” explained Ashraf Dewan, an environmental geographer based at Curtin University and co-author of the study. “While OLS and VIIRS can detect whole villages reliably, the sensors don’t always detect more isolated homes or homes that use power sparingly to save money, particularly in areas with lots of vegetation.”

More: Northeastern flash flood, May-June 2022

Floods in 1988 swamped Dhaka and led to the deaths of more than 2,000 people. Another catastrophic flood in 1998 killed 900 people and caused $3.5 billion in damages, according to Dewan.

In some parts of the low-lying city, shanty towns and other informal settlements have pushed into ephemeral wetlands known as khals, sharply increasing the risks from damaging monsoon season floods. A prime example is Korail, a poor neighborhood that has spread into a lake. Homes are built on stilts and the neighborhood routinely floods during heavy rains.

“We hope this research makes the scale of the issue clear for policymakers,” said Dewan. “If this trend continues, more homes will be destroyed, and more lives will be lost.”

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