Bangladesh is one of the largest deltas in the world, formed by a dense network of the distributaries of the rivers Ganges, Brahmaputra, and the Meghna, and more than 230 major rivers and their tributaries and distributaries. The total land area is 147, 570 sq km and consists mostly of low, flat land 80 per cent of the land is floodplain, and only in the extreme northwest do elevations exceed 30 metres above mean sea level, making the majority of Bangladesh (with the exception of the highlands) prone to flooding at least part of the year, with the floodplains of the north western, central, south central and north eastern regions subject to regular flooding. Between 30-70 per cent of the country is normally flooded each year. The extent of flooding is exacerbated by the sediment loads brought by the three major Himalayan rivers, coupled with a negligible flow gradient, which increases congestion
Many of the projected impacts of climate change will reinforce the baseline environmental, socio-economic and demographic stresses already faced by Bangladesh. Climate change is likely to result in:
⦁ Increased flooding, both in terms of extent and frequency, associated with sea level rise, greater monsoon precipitation and increased glacial melt
⦁ Increased vulnerability to cyclone and storm surges
⦁ Increased moisture stress during dry periods leading to increased drought
⦁ Increased salinity intrusion
⦁ Greater temperature extremes