"Disappearing island" in Bengal nothing to do with "climate change"

Nearest tide gauge - less than 1 mm per year…

Although you surely wouldn’t believe it by reading the mainstream media, trumpeting as they are the fact that an “island” has disappeared because of rising sea levels “caused by climate change”. The Sydney Morning Herald does a brilliant job of getting it all wrong:

In an unusual example of the effects of global climate change, rising sea levels in the Bay of Bengal have helped resolve a troublesome territorial dispute between two of the world’s most populated countries, a leading Indian oceanographer says.

Sugata Hazra, the head of oceanography at Kolkata’s Jadavpur University, says a flat muddy patch of land known as South Talpatti in Bangladesh and New Moore Island in India has disappeared under the Bay of Bengal. The landmass had been claimed by both countries but Professor Hazra says satellite images prove it has gone.

”It is now a submerged landmass, not an island,” Professor Hazra told the Herald.

”Only small parts can be seen in very, very low tide conditions.”

Sea-level rise caused by climate change was ”surely” a factor in the island’s inundation, Professor Hazra said.

”The rate of sea-level rise in this part of the northern Bay of Bengal is definitely attributable to climate change,” he said.

”There is a close correlation between the rate of sea-level rise and the sea surface temperature.”

The island was once about 3.5 kilometres long and three kilometres wide and situated four kilometres from the mouth of the Hariabhanga River, the waterway that marks a stretch of the border between south-western Bangladesh and India.

Scientists believe the disputed island was formed following a cyclone in the Bay of Bengal in 1970 and both countries laid claim to the land. (source)

Right, so what’s the reality? It’s not an island, as in a rocky outcrop, it’s a sand bar. As the article says, it was created following a cyclone just 40 years ago. It is in an estuary, an area of rapid erosion and deposition. “Islands” such as this are being created and destroyed on a regular basis all the time. Look at the sea level rise from the nearest official gauge – just 0.54mm per year.  Whatever caused this sandbar to disappear, it sure as hell wasn’t “climate change.”

Thanks to Anthony Watts.


  1. So I wonder why the BBC hasn’t amended their article http://www.australianclimatemadness.com/?p=3538 citing:

    “What these two countries could not achieve from years of talking, has been resolved by global warming,” said Professor Sugata Hazra of the School of Oceanographic Studies at Jadavpur University in Calcutta.

  2. Thank you for verifying a counter-point to the emotional media reports.

  3. How many “professors” do you suppose the reporter(s) had to go through to find one stupid enough to make those claims?

  4. My local “metro” newspaper had an entire page on that story! … in the international news section!
    They are not journalists but rather a bunch of activists.

  5. Great SITE for Documentaries check it out,


  6. John Marshall says:

    Bangladesh is mostly part of the planets largest alluvial fan, from sediment delivered by the Ganges and Bramaputra rivers. This sediment is at least 10 km thick and the mass of it causes dewatering and compaction which is the cause of rising sea levels there. If the sea level recrd for the Maldives are studied then they have a static to slow fall of sea levels, regardless of statements by their politicians who want the West to give them money to fight sea level rise.

  7. “…the disputed island was formed following a cyclone in the Bay of Bengal in 1970…”

    Alarmists have repeatedly informed us that cyclones along with other severe storms will increase with supposed human caused global warming.
    Based on that hypothesis, shouldn’t we be witnessing a recent multitude of new cyclonic forming ‘sand bars’ in the Bay Of Bengal rather than losing just the one lone sandbar to have formed in the past 40 years?


  1. […] sand bar to disappear.. By keith 11:17am 26th March 2010 “Climate change sunk my sandbar…” hmmIt appears that the main stream media has yet again got it all wrong with what effects climate change is […]

  2. […] “Disappearing island” in Bengal nothing to do with “climate change” […]

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