by Kelly Dent
Here in Australia 2013 has just been declared the hottest year ever on record. The Bureau of meteorology says climate change is a contributing factor. The same is true for the over 100 unseasonal Spring fires which raged across NSW from August to November, the scale and severity of these fires was immense. The Intergovernmental panel on climate change (the IPCC) says climate change may lead to an increase in the frequency of wildfires and the likelihood that they will be bigger in size and intensity.
Bangladesh is a country that is significantly impacted by climate change, even though like many developing countries they did little to cause it. Each month this column will bring the story about how a changing climate has impacted on people and their communities across Bangladesh. The stories are told in the voices of the people affected. This week’s story is Burnt Paddy it comes from a report titled Wither Happiness by Sirajul Islam Abed (2011).
Rawshan Ara, is a 40 year old woman who lives in College Para, Boda, Panchagarh in the far North West of Bangladesh. The area is an alluvial fan created by the Tista river interacting with the foothills of the Himalayas resulting in the build-up of sediment. Recent changes to the climate in this region have included a change in rainfall patters which have increase during the monsoon and decreased during the winter, a temperature increase in both the monsoon season and in winter and increased humidity. These changes have led to decreased crop production, especially of rice, wheat and potato, with hotter temperatures and less rain in winter it is likely this area will become increasingly barren affecting not only food production but also the rearing of livestock.Rashwan Ara says: