Yale Environment 360: As World’s Deltas Sink, Rising Seas Are Far from Only Culprit. Although climate change is often blamed for coastal inundation in places like the Bay of Bengal, other factors such as dam building and urbanization play an important role. Scientists say that more sustainable development policies can help blunt the
No change has been more important than sediment supply. Often described as the world’s largest sediment dispersal system, the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta saw sediment load halved from 1960 to 2008, from 1 billion to 500 million tons annually, according to a 2018 study. The decline is projected to continue, falling to 79 million to 92 million tons a year by 2100, the study said. This steep reduction in sediment further opens the way for rising seas. A study last year, analyzing satellite imaging data, found that the Sundarbans lost 137 square kilometers — 53 square miles — of mangrove forest from 1984 to 2018, much of it on the southernmost edge. There was some accretion, as well — 62 square kilometers (24 miles), although some of this was transient or seasonal. impacts of rising seas.