Climate change isn’t just an issue in the western hemisphere or in big cities.

The Indian Sundarbans—a 4,000-square-mile archipelago that has been designated a World Heritage site[1], sits on the Bay of Bengal and is shared by India and Bangladesh. The region has a rich ecosystem that supports the world’s largest mangrove forest and several hundred animal species, including the endangered Bengal tiger. It is home to approximately 13 million people.

All of this could disappear in just a few decades. The Sundarban archipelago is one of the most vulnerable areas to climate change in the world; 70 percent of the land is just a few feet above sea level. In some parts of the region, the sea already is advancing about 200 yards per year. Mousuni Island, in particular, is experiencing the worst effects of the changing climate. Coastal erosion, floods, salinity ingression, and increasingly violent storms have rendered most of the land barren.[2] [Atlantic video]

How does one relocate 13 million people?

Further . . .

According to a new report from the United Nations, the population of the planet could rise from its current 7.7 billion to 10.9 billion by the year 2100. []

It occurs to mariner that climate change is extremely pervasive not only to physical stuff like buildings, roads or financial stuff like economic stability but to the scale of managing humans – moving them around, feeding them, housing them, sustaining social functionality – is a massive problem governments haven’t thought about. It makes the current global immigration issue look miniscule.

It occurs to mariner as well that individual governments are charged first with the wellbeing of their own population and economy which automatically creates political conflict when addressing the hardships of other countries in the same bind. Let’s hope the United Nations is up to overseeing a truly global confrontation above and beyond national sovereignty.

And last . . .

Permafrost in the Arctic is not so perma anymore. A University of Alaska Fairbanks team on expedition in the Canadian Arctic was “astounded” to find that permafrost there was thawing 70 years earlier than predicted. The permafrost — “giant subterranean ice blocks” — had been frozen solid for thousands of years. [The Guardian]

Ancient Mariner


[1] a natural or man-made site, area, or structure recognized as being of outstanding international importance and therefore as deserving special protection. Sites are nominated to and designated by the World Heritage Convention (an organization of UNESCO).

[2] To view video, see

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