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Swings and roundabouts

Reading the BBC news website today led me to two different stories about the environment in the Bay of Bengal. Now if you read the first one I would be very surprised if you did not think that it is a sure sign that the dire  predictions about climate change were being vindicated.

A tiny island claimed for years by India and Bangladesh in the Bay of Bengal has disappeared beneath the rising seas, scientists in India say.

The uninhabited territory south of the Hariabhanga river was known as New Moore Island to the Indians and South Talpatti Island to the Bangladeshis.

Recent satellites images show the whole island under water, says the School of Oceanographic Studies in Calcutta.

Its scientists say other nearby islands could also vanish as sea levels rise.


“What these two countries could not achieve from years of talking, has been resolved by global warming,” said Professor Sugata Hazra of the School of Oceanographic Studies at Jadavpur University in Calcutta.

Anyone wishing to visit now, he observed, would have to think of travelling by submarine.

Professor Hazra said his studies revealed that sea levels in this part of the Bay of Bengal have risen much faster over the past decade than they had done in the previous 15 years.

And he predicts that in the coming decade other islands in the Sundarbans delta region will follow New Moore, or South Talpatti, beneath the waves.

“We will have ever larger numbers of people displaced from the Sunderbans as more island areas come under water,” Prof Hazra said.

I am sure that PKD or JM  will be thinking something along the lines of “At last here is some proof that Iain Hall can’t dispute” but If you think about it for a second it is not that hard to realise that the many islands in that part of the world are in fact made of accumulated river mud and not what anyone would call very substantial so the disappearance of this island is probably down to it being simply washed away rather than it being inundated by rising sea in much the same way that sandbanks come and go.. But just as the lord takes something away something else is created and on today’s climate roundabout  we have this story also from the BBC:

Bangladeshis are used to frequent flooding

New research shows Bangladesh may not be as vulnerable to rising sea levels caused by climate change as previously feared, scientists in Dhaka say.

They say satellite images show the country’s landmass is actually growing because of sediment dumped by rivers.

A report by UN scientists has projected that rising sea levels will inundate 17% of Bangladesh by 2050, making about 30 million people homeless.

One its authors said he saw little in the new research to change his mind.

‘New islands’

Satellite images of Bangladesh over the past 32 years show that the country is growing annually by about 20 square kilometres (7.72 square miles), said Maminul Haque Sarker of the Dhaka-based Centre for Environment and Geographic Information Services.

Looking at the two pieces  should make you think about how the alarmists are so keen to give us half the story if it tells us that disaster is imminent.  Based upon a small detail like the amount of land in Bangladesh that is only a little above sea level   they ignore the fact that the delta is being constantly added to by the silt carried by the great rivers of the area.

Its  an interesting confluence of stories that should serve to remind us that nothing in the planets geography of our planet is fixed and unchanging, especially when it is at the meeting place of some great rivers and the sea.

Cheers Comrades


  1. PKD says:

    At last here is some proof that Iain Hall can’t dispute.

    Naah Iain, you’ll always managed to find a way to argue against something, no matter how open and shut the case is.

    In fact if you were to fall into a flooded river and needed rescuing no one would find you in time, as you’d argue with the river and get swept away upstream!

  2. William Tell says:

    I go along with your view Iain. If the island had stayed physically intact with no change to its profile,height etc then the nearby coast would correspondingly have displayed an increase in water level.
    No wonder either country wanted to claim it. Their victory would have been washed away.
    I do think that us humans have crapped in our backyards for too long though, and this action must make some sort of impression on nature. Regards

  3. Iain Hall says:


    In fact if you were to fall into a flooded river and needed rescuing no one would find you in time, as you’d argue with the river and get swept away upstream!

    Even a river in flood is subject to the effect of the tides 😉

  4. Iain Hall says:

    Well I certainly agree with you William that we should be mindful of the environment but my point is that alarmist claims that rely on only a partial picture should not be given that much credence.

  5. PKD says:

    Even a river in flood is subject to the effect of the tides

    Or to the argumentivness-for-the-sake-of-it of Iain Hall.

    “Oh, you’ve fallen in, while I’ll just sweep you downstream as per gravity”.

    “No you won’t river. I don’t believe in gravity. Its a left wing greenie conspiracy theory to enforce socialism on us. Carry me upstream, river”.

    “Oh, all right then”.

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