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Projected changes in area of the Sundarban mangrove forest in Bangladesh due to SLR by 2100

Payo Garcia, Andres, Mukhopadhyay, Anirban, Hazra, Sugata, Ghosh, Tuhin, Ghosh, Subhajit, Brown, Sally, Nicholls, Robert, Bricheno, Lucy, Wolf, Judith, Kay, Susan, Lazar, Attila and Haque, Anisul (2016) Projected changes in area of the Sundarban mangrove forest in Bangladesh due to SLR by 2100 Climatic Change, 139, (2), pp. 279-291. (doi:10.1007/s10584-016-1769-z).

Record type: Article


The Sundarbans mangrove ecosystem, located in India and Bangladesh, is recognized as a global priority for biodiversity conservation and is an important provider of ecosystem services such as numerous goods and protection against storm surges. With global mean sea-level rise projected as up to 0.98m or greater by 2100 relative to the baseline period (1985-2005), the Sundarbans – mean elevation presently approximately 2 m above mean sea-level – is under threat from inundation and subsequent wetland loss; however the magnitude of loss remains unclear. We used remote and field measurements, geographic information systems and simulation modelling to investigate the potential effects of three sea-level rise scenarios on the Sundarbans within coastal Bangladesh. We illustrate how the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM) is able to reproduce the observed area losses for the period 2000-2010. Using this calibrated model and assuming that mean sea-level is a better proxy than the SLAMM assumed mean lower low water for Mangrove area delineation, the estimated mangrove area net losses (relative to year 2000) are 81-178 km2, 111-376 km2 and 583-1393 km2 for relative sea-level rise scenarios to 2100 of 0.46m, 0.75m and 1.48m, respectively and net subsidence of ±2.5 mm/year. These area losses are very small (<10 percent of present day area) and significantly smaller than previous research has suggested. Our simulations also suggest that erosion rather than inundation may remain the dominant loss driver to 2100 under certain scenarios of sea-level rise and net subsidence. Only under the highest scenarios does inundation due to sea-level rise become the dominant loss process.

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Accepted/In Press date: 3 August 2016
Published date: 1 November 2016
Keywords: mangrove, bangladesh, sundarbans, SLAMM, sea-level rise, climate change
Organisations: Marine Systems Modelling, Energy & Climate Change Group


Local EPrints ID: 399370
PURE UUID: 1ff672ef-6687-4380-aaf6-f7cb58fd5910
ORCID for Sally Brown: ORCID iD
ORCID for Attila Lazar: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 15 Aug 2016 10:43
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 18:24

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Author: Anirban Mukhopadhyay
Author: Sugata Hazra
Author: Tuhin Ghosh
Author: Subhajit Ghosh
Author: Sally Brown ORCID iD
Author: Robert Nicholls
Author: Lucy Bricheno
Author: Judith Wolf
Author: Susan Kay
Author: Attila Lazar ORCID iD
Author: Anisul Haque

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