Guest essay by Eric Worrall
The Bangladesh government has blamed global warming for poor water flow from the Ganges River. This contrasts with 2008, when melting of the Himalayan Glaciers by Global Warming was blamed for flooding of the Ganges.
Global warming, absence of rainfall to blame
Water Resources Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud believes global warming and absence of rainfall in India were to blame for Bangladesh getting only 25,000 cusecs of water through the Ganges river on the first 10 days of March this year.
“It has happened after a long break…we (usually) get 65,000 cusecs,” he told a two-day “National Water Rights Conference-2016” in the capital’s Krishibid Institution Bangladesh yesterday against the backdrop of World Water Day, to be observed tomorrow.
Comparing Joint Rivers Commission, Bangladesh’s data which was gathered centring the 10 days since 2008, The Daily Star found this year’s figure to be the lowest.
Early monsoon floods “point to climate change”
The monsoon floods have come early to Bangladesh, with thousands of people losing their homes and crops to river erosion, in what specialists say is a clear sign of climate change.
Most major flooding in the low-lying nation is not expected until July and August.
“Early flooding of the Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers is an example of climate change caused by global warming,” Atiur Rahman, an environmental economist, told IRIN, noting a gradual advance of the annual flooding over the past 50 years.
“Global warming causes the snow-caps of the Himalayas to melt early and in bigger quantities, causing early and extra volumes of water to flow through the Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers. This adds to the already full volume of the monsoon water and causes early and sustained floods that take a devastating shape,” he explained.
Read more: http://www.irinnews.org/news/2008/06/25-0
To be fair to Atiur Rahman, he might have been basing his conclusion about flooding on bad information provided by the IPCC.
Mr Rahman has a track record of caring about poverty – he was the architect of prominent poverty alleviation programmes, and was until a few days ago the governor of the Bangladesh Central Bank. Rahman stepped down from his Central Bank post, in the wake of a major cyber-heist.
Ex IPCC head Rajendra Pachauri, who resigned after being accused of sexual harassment, once claimed the Himalayas was melting so fast, that the ice would all melt by 2035. Pachauri accused people who disputed his 2035 claim of practicing “voodoo science”. The nonsensical claim was only formally withdrawn in early 2010, after the failure of the Copenhagen Climate Conference.
No doubt if river flow returns to normal next year, the suspiciously average river flow activity will also be blamed on mankind’s unnatural influence on the global climate.