Hindustan Times

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IPCC exaggerated Bangladesh climate fears
Hindustan Times

Scientists in Bangladesh posed a fresh challenge to the UN’s top climate change panel Thursday, saying its doomsday forecasts for the country in the body’s landmark 2007 report were overblown.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), already under fire for errors in the 2007 report, had said a one-metre (three-foot) rise in sea levels would flood 17 percent of Bangladesh and create 20 million refugees by 2050.

The warning helped create a widespread consensus that the low-lying country was on the « front line » of climate change, but a new study argues the IPCC ignored the role sediment plays in countering sea level rises.

« Sediments have been shaping Bangladesh’s coast for thousands of years, » said Maminul Haque Sarker, director of the Dhaka-based Center for Environment and Geographic Information Services (CEGIS), who led research for the study.

Even if sea levels rise a maximum one metre in line with the IPCC’s 2007 predictions, the new study indicates most of Bangladesh’s coastline will remain intact, said Sarker.