Climate Change, Sea Level Rise, and Adaptation: A Case Study of Bangladesh
Embargoed until: 2019-11-22
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Agriculture is one of the sectors most affected by climate change in Bangladesh. Crop production, especially staple crops, such as paddy, wheat, maize, and grains are the most vulnerable due to variations in temperature and precipitation changes. Among other consequences of climate change, sea level rise is one of the most severe threats to Bangladesh. Ongoing coastal flooding and its related salinity intrusion have already affected large portions of the irrigable lands in coastal regions of Bangladesh, resulting in a year-to-year variability in major crop yield productivity in coastal regions. This study was motivated by the Bangladeshi agricultural system’s susceptibility to climate change, and partly by a lack of regional, economy-wide studies about the impacts of climate change on the Bangladesh economy. The overall aim of this thesis is to assess the impacts of climate change and sea level rise, especially at regional levels, and to explore an emergent adaptation strategy for coastal Bangladeshi farmers. In this study, the impacts of climate change at the regional level were investigated through three different scenarios using increasing temperature and increasing salinity intrusion. The impacts of temperature and precipitation changes on regional gross domestic product (GDP), employment, overall sectoral output, and growth disparities across regions were investigated in the first scenario; the impacts of salinity intrusion on Bangladesh regions, particularly highlighting coastal and non-coastal Bangladeshi regional GDP, household consumption, employment, regional sectoral outputs, and regional exports and imports were examined in the second scenario; while the determinants behind diversifying farming to non-farming occupations in order to adapt to ongoing salinity intrusion and agricultural loss and to improve the livelihood conditions were investigated in the third scenario. To analyse the different impacts of climate change and adaptation, both the general equilibrium model and econometric modelling techniques were applied in this study, accompanied by both secondary and primary data. Two multi-regional computable general equilibrium (CGE) models were developed to investigate the overall impacts of climate change on crop productivity loss. The first multiregional CGE model was developed in order to investigate the national-level temperature and precipitation changes related crop productivity loss. The effects of climate change on agriculture were investigated by conducting three simulations: (1) the highest climate change impacts, (2) medium climate change impacts, and (3) the lowest climate change impacts. Furthermore, in order to investigate region-specific, salinity-induced agricultural loss, a regional-level, input-output database for 64 regions, along with an inter-districts trade matrix was developed for the second multi-regional CGE model. A total of three simulations were conducted in order to capture the land inundation and salinity intrusion scenarios caused by rising sea levels. All three simulations were based on the crop productivity loss allied with the above scenarios. Additionally, a cross-sectional survey examining primary salinity affected farming household’s level data was undertaken and a set of adaptation indices were prepared for occupation diversification. Both multinomial logit modelling and average treatment effects were applied to investigate the determinants of diversification and the impacts of diversification on farming household heads’ income. The results suggest that, in the long run, climate change will have negative impacts on economic growth and on real household consumption for agriculture communities in Bangladesh. The results of changes in sectoral output show that agricultural industries are expected to contract significantly, both at the national and regional levels, due to both temperature and precipitation scenarios and sea level rise scenarios. Some of the manufacturing and service sectors based on agricultural products, such as food manufacturing sectors, are expected to decrease their output in the long run due to climate change impacts. Though climate change is likely to have significant long-term impacts on Bangladesh’s macroeconomic and industrial environment, overall, climate change is unlikely to expand the existing disparities across Bangladeshi regions. Coastal regions are expected to be significantly affected by major sectoral output loss due to salinity-induced agricultural loss. On the other hand, the majority of the non-coastal regions are expected to benefit from the influx of cheaper inputs from coastal regions. Non-coastal regions are likely to improve the industrial output of both agriculture and manufacturing, such as textile and clothing in the long run, respectively. Location and the salinity levels act as key determinants behind the diversification of occupations by coastal farmers. The findings showed that coastal farmers who successfully diversified their occupations from farming to non-farming significantly increased their income by 20-75%. In conclusion, agricultural losses due to climate change are likely to negatively impact both the national and regional economies. However, the economic impacts of climate change vary in accordance with the extent of the impacts across different regions in the long run. Moreover, the overall results reveal that climate change is expected to create mixed impacts for the overall economy of Bangladesh by creating spill-over effects across regions through interregional connections in the long run. The results of this study will make a significant contribution to climate change literature and assist both national and regional policy makers in Bangladesh.
Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Dept Account,Finance & Econ
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Sea level rise