Conference Blog

22
Jan

Gobeshona 6: Day 3 Keynote Speech

Ms Ruksana Rimi on ” Changing Risks of Extreme Rainfall Events in Bangladesh under 1.5 and 2.0 degrees’ warmer worlds.”

Ms. Ruksana Rimi began the third day of Gobeshona 6: the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD)’s four day research conference with a keynote speech.

She is an Associate Professor of the Department of Environmental Science and Resource Management at the Mawlana Bhashani Science and Technology University, Tangail, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

She gave a keynote speech on how extreme rainfall events risks in Bangladesh were influenced by human impacts based on changes in frequency of rainfall as observed by trends. For this matter, Ms. Rimi’s research looked into whether the unusual flood events were occurring due to human influence on climate. It also explored how additional global warming would affect the future risks of extreme rainfall events in Bangladesh, and how they need to be addressed in order to limit adverse impacts.

The study focused on understanding and quantifying the relative risks of seasonal extreme rainfall events in Bangladesh under the Paris Agreement temperature goals of 1.5C and 2C warming above pre-industrial levels. As there was not adequate relevant data available in the context of Bangladesh, Ms. Rimi looked into adequate data prediction from climateprediction.net which provided 25 – 50 km models. Ms. Rimi found that in 2017, more than an anamoly of 100mm of rainfall was experienced compared to the years 1979 – 2016. In 2017, 850,000 households were affected and 220,000 hectares of crops were damaged. Due to greenhouse gas emissions, the probability of an event like that of 2017 occurring has doubled. 

Ms. Rimi’s study found that the risk of a 1 in 100 year rainfall event has already increased significantly compared with pre-industrial levels across parts of Bangladesh, with additional increases likely for 1.5C and 2.0C degrees warming. Impacts were observed during both the pre-monsoon and monsoon periods, but were spatially variable across the country in terms of the level of impact. 
To this, she said, “we need to acknowledge these findings and adapt our strategies accordingly.” as she believes that with the increasing likelihood of extreme events, disaster preparedness is key. 

Ms. Rimi suggested that given the doubling of rainfall probability, appropriate adaptation measures need to be taken. By conducting hazard and risk assessments, Bangladesh should consider assessing key impacts on finance, agriculture, health and water resources. She concluded by emphasising the importance of pressuring policymakers to take strong action and strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to achieve SDG 13.1 – Climate Action.

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