Vulnerability of Bangladesh to cyclones in a changing climate : potential damages and adaptation cost
This paper integrates information on climate change, hydrodynamic models, and geographic overlays to assess the vulnerability of coastal areas in Bangladesh to larger storm surges and sea-level rise by 2050. The approach identifies polders (diked areas), coastal populations, settlements, infrastructure, and economic activity at risk of inundation, and estimates the cost of damage versus the cost of several adaptation measures. A 27-centimeter sea-level rise and 10 percent intensification of wind speed from global warming suggests the vulnerable zone increases in size by 69 percent given a +3-meter inundation depth and by 14 percent given a +1-meter inundation depth. At present, Bangladesh has 123 polders, an early warning and evacuation system, and more than 2,400 emergency shelters to protect coastal inhabitants from tidal waves and storm surges.