New Moore Island existed in the Bay of Bengal for about 35 years, and until 2010 it was a source of contention between India and Bangladesh. Both claimed sovereignty over the uninhabited rocky island, which appeared in the mid-1970s in the aftermath of the Bhola cyclone of 1970. However, global warming essentially settled the dispute when sea levels swallowed up the tiny island, which, even at its peak, never rose more than about six feet (1.8 m) above sea level.
A Bay of Bengal Maritime Boundary Arbitration decision officially rejected Bangladesh’s claim to the island, also known as South Talpatti Island, in 2014, so if sea levels were to fall, India could legitimately claim control.
Rising sea levels in the Bay of Bengal:
- Studies have shown a higher-than-average sea level rise in the Sundarbans delta region of the Bay of Bengal. "What these two countries could not achieve from years of talking has been resolved by global warming," said oceanographer Sugata Hazra of Jadavpur University in Calcutta.
- Until 2000, sea levels in the delta area rose about 3 millimeters a year. Since then, the water has risen about 5 millimeters a year, studies show. "We will have ever-larger numbers of people displaced from the Sunderbans as more island areas come under water," Hazra predicted.
- Nearby Lohachara Island went under in 1996, forcing its residents to flee to the mainland. Furthermore, almost half of Ghoramara Island has returned to the sea.
More Info: The Guardian
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