December 29, 2006Public Policy

And now, an entire island disappears

Global warming violates India’s territorial integrity

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

As if lustful neighbours were not enough, climate change has grabbed some territory from India. The Independent reports that Lohachara, in India’s swampy Sunderbans region, has become the world’s first populated island to be lost to rising sea levels. (via FP Passport)

It has been officially recorded in a six-year study of the Sunderbans by researchers at Calcutta’s Jadavpur University. So remote is the island that the researchers first learned of its submergence, and that of an uninhabited neighbouring island, Suparibhanga, when they saw they had vanished from satellite pictures. [The Independent]

A dozen islands, 70,000 people and 400 tigers are at risk. The Google Earth community has identified the spot where Lohachara used to be.

Afternote: Reader SilberK points out that there may be less to it than meets the eye: disappearing islands are par for the course in Sundarbans, it happens due to erosion and Lohachara disappeared 22 years ago.

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