VELLORE warming on Sunderbans in West Bengal. THE SUNDERBANS:

VELLORE INSTITUTE OF
TECHNOLOGY, BHOPAL

 
                       

CHY1002
 
 
 
 
Swasti Choubey
17BCE10003
SLOT- E1+TE1
TABLE OF CONTENTS

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S.No.

CONTENT

Page No.

1.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

3

2.

INTRODUCTION AND DEMOGRAPHICS

4

3.

METHODOLOGY

5

4.

DESCRIPTION OF PROBLEM

6

5.

CAUSE AND EXTENT OF PROBLEM

7

6.

CONTROL OF THE PROBLEM AND SOLUTIONS

9

7.

CONCLUSION

12

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I would like
to thank the chemistry department and Dr. Manoj Acharya for providing this
opportunity to me which explored me to understand the extremely harmful impacts
of global warming on an important mini ecosystem in our country.

Doing this
case study was not only interesting but also very informative. It emphasized
the urgent need to start taking steps to protect and nourish our surrounding
environment.

I hope you
find this case study informative and satisfactory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

GLOBAL
WARMING:

Fossil fuels are being continuously used to produce
electricity. Apart from that, the daily use of CFCs has increased manifold. The
burning of these fuels produces gases like carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous
oxides which lead to global warming. Due to global warming the average
temperature of the earth surface increases which in turn has many negative side
effects. One of these adverse effects is the impact of global warming on
Sunderbans in West Bengal.

 

THE
SUNDERBANS:

DEMOGRAPHY:

The Sunderbans are
a vast mangrove forest in the coastal region of the Bay of Bengal and considered one of the most beautiful
and diverse natural wonders of the world.

               

 

 

METHODOLOGY:

I went about
this case-study by gathering information and facts from various sources. Previous
knowledge on global warming and various forums helped me to piece together this
study in what I hope is a satisfactory manner.

I took help
from the various sources:

1. www.google.com/images

2. www.wikimedia.com

3. www.wikipedia.com/sundarbans

4. Research Gate

5. www.climatehotmap.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DESCRIPTION
OF THE PROBLEM:

Sunderbans is the world’s largest continuous mangrove
forests shared by both India and Bangladesh. It is the home to a myriad variety
of exquisite animal and plant species including the endangered Royal Bengal
Tiger.

“The habitat supports approximately 4.37 million people. As per the
research conducted it is believed that sacrifice comes
at a price. It has been observed that over the years the global treasure has
been sinking in water the Sundarbans have soaked in
4.15 crore tonnes of carbon dioxide.”

It can easily be said that these forests play a huge role in
controlling global warming in the world. But this and the salinity of the water
present is increasing at an alarming rate.

With rising sea levels, islands are disappearing
and the increasing
salinity in the water and soil has severely threatened the
health of mangrove forests and the quality of soil and crops. Additionally,
there have been serious disturbances to hydrological parameters and change in
fishing patterns, resulting in disastrous consequences for fishermen.
Frequent cyclones and erratic
monsoon raining pattern are damaging ecology and humanity.

The sea levels haven’t dropped over the years. In fact, they
have kept on increasing at an alarming rate and threatened the major forest
system. If the levels keep increasing at the current rate, the forests will
soon get submerged under water which in turn will have a major impact on the
global carbon content causing an increase in the green house effect thus
accelerating global warming.

 

 

 

CAUSE AND
EXTENT OF PROBLEM:

The Sundarbans are a low lying, cyclone prone region. It is
also prone to heavy rains in monsoon. There are various factors responsible for
the rising sea levels in the Sundarbans all directly or indirectly related to
global warming. The first reason directly related to global warming is:

1.     
RISING TEMPERATURE:

In the years between 1980 and 2007, it has been observed
that the temperature of the delta waters has increased at an accelerated rate
of 0.5oC per decade. This accelerated temperature rate has had a
severe impact on aquatic life. It has also had a detrimental impact on the
mangrove forests.

2.     
RISING SEA-LEVELS

In the past 25 years, sea level has risen at a rate almost
double the global average. This is due to a combination of factors including
land subsistence patterns. Due to continuous submergence in
higher water, as an implication of rise of sea level, the plants are being
noted to be shorter and narrower with fewer branches and leaves resulting in
lower rates of photosynthesis and regeneration of the
mangroves. The sea level
rise is also affecting the availability of sediment, directly impeding the establishment of new groves.

3.     
DEFORESTATION

Between 1777 and 1971, continuous deforestation and land
reclamation activities have been carried out in the Sundarbans region. t It has been
observed that 5% of forest cover was lost between
1989 and 2009. This deforestation has increased man-animal
conflict, local extirpation of several species and added to the biological loss
of the region. Further, clearing of forests have not facilitated
self-sustaining agriculture on
the flood plain, as it tends to
be submerged under saline water during high tides.

 

 

 

                  

 

CONTROL OF THE PROBLEM

Sundarbans play a major part in controlling the carbon
footprint and hence global warming. Thus, it is very important that we take
special measures to protect them and help them regain their former glory. Some
measures that can be taken to control this problem are:

 

1.    
AFORESTATION:

The first and most obvious measure to abet this problem is aforestation.
It simply means plantation of more trees than those we cut down. Trees are
responsible for absorption of CO2. The greater the number of trees,
greater is the amount of CO2 absorbed and hence global warming is
controlled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.    
CONTROLLING POLLUTION:

Another important way of keeping the destruction of the Sundarbans under
check is by controlling pollution. Due to run-off from factories, the salinity
and toxicity levels of the water has increased at an alarming rate. This has affected
the rate of growth of trees and also has had adverse effects on the animal
population, both aquatic and terrestrial. Serious steps are needed to keep all
kinds of pollution in check.

·       
AIR
POLLUTION: -Use of catalytic converters in vehicles

                              -Avoiding use of freons.

                              -Using
cyclonic separator in chimney factories.

·       
WATER
POLLUTION:-Introducing larvae eating fish.

                                     -Filtering and disinfecting
factory runoffs.

             

3.      
In addition to all of the above and pursuant to the provisions of the WLP Act, the MoEF
declared the entire 9630 sq. km. of Sundarban as the Sundarban Biosphere
Reserve in 1989 as part of the Man and Biosphere Programme accepted in the general
conference of the UNESCO in 1970.

4.      
Zoning
Sundarbans according to vulnerability: The Government of
West Bengal should demarcate specific areas of the Sundarbans that are particularly susceptible to
cyclonic storms.

5.    
Protection & distribution of saline resistant food grains and
seeds: Due to the extinction of certain traditional saline-resistant rice vartieties as well as a marked increase in
the salinity in the region, the State Government must protect remaining
saline-resistant
food grains and seeds that are saline resistant as well as increase distribution of such
seeds at a subsidised rate to the local population

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONCLUSION:

At the end
of this case-study I would like to conclude by saying that it is very important
to start taking steps to protect the Sundarbans as they are a very important
natural resource and home to thousands of varieties of plant and animal
species.

They play a
very important role in absorbing CO2 and thus keeping global warming
in check. If further destruction of the Sundarbans takes place then the world
will undergo serious ecological imbalance. It’s time to act now.

I hope you
found this case-study informative and satisfactory. Thank you for your time and
interest.