A.K.M. Saiful Islam

Professor, IWFM, BUET

Field of Research - Climate Change, Flood Management, Remote Sensing Hydrology

Coordinator, Climate Change Study Cell, BUET

Member, Institutes of Engineers, Bangladesh

Curriculum Vitae

Dr. A.K.M. Saiful Islam is a Professor at the Institute of Water and Flood management of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). He has received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (1989) from BUET, a Master of Science in Water Resources Engineering (1999) from BUET, and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering (2004) from Drexel University, USA. His research interests aim at climate change impact on hydrology, water resources management, urban and coastal flood management, remote sensing for disaster risks reduction. His research adopted regional climate modelling, basin-scale hydrological modelling, river hydrodynamic modelling, urban flood modelling, coastal and storm surge modelling, weather forecast modelling, satellite remote sensing for environmental monitoring, hydroinformatics for disaster risks reduction and climate change adaption. He has published over 67 peer-reviewed journal articles,  more than 100 conference papers, and contributed to 9 book chapters. Over the past decade, Dr. Islam has led several major international scientific climate change assessments and the reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He contributed to the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report and IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C as an Expert Reviewer. He is currently a Lead Author on the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report. 

Dr. Islam has given more than 200 invited talks and seminars throughout the world, speaking on diverse topics focusing on climate change impacts on water resources, challenges of weather and flood forecasting, urban drainage management, estimation of riverbank erosion using remote sensing, cyclonic storm surges under sea-level rise, changes in meteorological droughts, environmental impact assessment & mitigation, and climate vulnerability & risks assessment. He is teaching about 10 graduate courses and organized many workshops locally and overseas. He also currently serves as the Coordinator of the Climate Change Study Cell at IWFM, BUET.

Current responsibilities

  • Lead Author, Sixth Assessment Report, Working Group I (WG I), Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),  2018-2021.

  • Guest Editor,  Special Issue on "Hydrology and Climate Change", Water (ISSN 2073-4441), MDPI, 2022-2023.

  • Principal Investigator, "Climate change / flood preparedness research for building climate resilient infrastructure", a  collaborative research project funded by Local Govt. Engineering Department (LGED) and Sponsored by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); Duration: July 2019 – 2022.
  • Co-Principal Investigator, "Oasis Platform for Climate and Catastrophe Risk Assessment – Asia", a collaborative research project funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), Federal Republic of Germany; Duration: 2018-2021.

  • Principal Investigator, "Flash Flood Early Warning System (FEWAS) for the Haor Regions of Bangladesh", a collaborative research project, funded by LGED under HILIP/CALIP project of IFAD; Duration: 2014-2022.

  • Principal Investigator, "Estimation of SLR in Bangladesh using Satellite Altimetry", a collaborative project funded by Department of Environment (DOE); Duration: 2018-2022.

  • Group Leader, Hydrology and Climate Change Modeling Group, IWFM, BUET. Responsible for climate change and weather modeling using RCM and  coupled hydrological-hydrodynamic modeling for large river basins, urban and riverine flooding and coastal processes influenced by sea level rise.
  • Advisor/In-charge: 'Remote Sensing and GIS Lab' and 'Climate Modeling and Simulation Lab' of the institute.

  • Fellow, Institute of Engineers, Bangladesh (IEB).

  • Member, Bangladesh Society of Geo Informatics (BSGI), Bangladesh.

  • Coordinator, Climate Change Study Cell, BUET.



Islam, A. T., Islam, A. S., Islam, G. T., Bala, S. K., Salehin, M., Choudhury, A. K., ... & Mahboob, M. G. (2023). Simulation of water productivity of wheat in northwestern Bangladesh using multi-satellite data. Agricultural Water Management, 281, 108242.

Billah, M., Islam, A. S., Mamoon, W. B., & Rahman, M. R. (2023). Random forest classifications for landuse mapping to assess rapid flood damage using Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 data. Remote Sensing Applications: Society and Environment, 100947.

Chowdhury, M. E., Islam, A. S., Lemans, M., Hegnauer, M., Sajib, A. R., Pieu, N. M., ... & Bhuyan, A. (2022). An efficient flash flood forecasting system for the un-gaged Meghna basin using open source platform Delft-FEWS. Environmental Modelling & Software, 105614.

Imran, H. M., Kala, J., Uddin, S., Islam, A. S., & Acharya, N. (2022). Spatiotemporal analysis of temperature and precipitation extremes over Bangladesh using a novel gridded observational dataset. Weather and Climate Extremes, 39, 100544.

Thomas, M., Tellman, E., Osgood, D., DeVries, B., Islam, A. S., Steckler, M. S., ... & Billah, M. (2023). A framework to assess remote sensing algorithms for satellite-based flood index insurance. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing.

Islam, A. S., Khan, A. S., Islam, G. T., Bhattacharya, B., Ali, M. H., & Hossain, M. S. (2023). Tidal River Management in the Southwest Region of Bangladesh Using Mathematical Modelling. In Transcending Humanitarian Engineering Strategies for Sustainable Futures (pp. 20-38). IGI Global.

Islam, G. T., Kremmyda, G., Georgoulas, A., Koumpouros, Y., Islam, S. L. U., Islam, A. S., ... & Shoeb, M. (2023). Examining the Quality Assurance in Engineering Education in Bangladesh. In Transcending Humanitarian Engineering Strategies for Sustainable Futures (pp. 263-275). IGI Global.


Chen, J., Mueller, V., Durand, F., Lisco, E., Zhong, Q., Sherin, V. R., & Islam, A.S. (2022). Salinization of the Bangladesh Delta worsens economic precarity. Population and Environment, 44(3), 226-247.

Ruane, A. C., Vautard, R., Ranasinghe, R., Sillmann, J., Coppola, E., Arnell, N., ... & Zaaboul, R. (2022). The Climatic Impact‐Driver Framework for Assessment of Risk‐Relevant Climate Information. Earth's Future, 10(11), e2022EF002803.

Roy, B., Hussain, M. M., Islam, A. S., Rahman, M. A., & Mohammed, K. (2022). Assessment of Flood Hazard in Climatic Extreme Considering Fluvio-Morphic Responses of the Contributing River: Indications from the Brahmaputra-Jamuna’s Braided-Plain. GeoHazards, 3(4), 465-491.



Chapter in Edited Books

  • Islam, M. N., Islam, A.S., Hayashi, T., Terao, T. and H. Uyeda (2002) Application of a Method to Estimate Rainfall in Bangladesh Using GMS-5 Data, Journal of Natural Disaster Science, Japan, 24(2), pp. 83-89. 

  • Environmental Change in South Asia

    The Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM) river system plays a key role in the survival and development of more than 670 million people in South Asia. The extreme flows of the GBM rivers also dictate the occurrences of floods and hydrological droughts in Bangladesh, which lies at the delta of this river system. This study was undertaken to assess the impacts of high-end climate change on the extreme flows as well as the mean monthly flows of these rivers at their downstream locations inside Bangladesh. SWAT Hydrological modeling tools were used to simulate future flows using climate projections collected from the CORDEX initiative. The mean monthly flows are likely to increase in most months of the future in the GBM rivers, and the increases are likely to be largest in the Ganges River compared to the other two rivers in terms of percentage changes. Flood flows and low flows are projected to increase in all three rivers. The frequency of occurrence of flood flows is likely to increase and that of low flows are likely to decrease, especially near the end of this century. The projections presented in this article can be useful in adaptation planning as well as in supporting discussions on mitigation policies..

    Technical Summary (Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis)

    The Working Group I contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report addresses the most up-to-date physical understanding of the climate system and climate change, bringing together the latest advances in climate science, and combining multiple lines of evidence from paleoclimate, observations, process understanding, and global and regional climate simulations. The report projects that in the coming decades climate changes will increase in all regions. For 1.5°C of global warming, there will be increasing heat waves, longer warm seasons and shorter cold seasons. At 2°C of global warming, heat extremes would more often reach critical tolerance thresholds for agriculture and health, the report shows. For the first time, the Sixth Assessment Report provides a more detailed regional assessment of climate change, including a focus on useful information that can inform risk assessment, adaptation, and other decision-making, and a new framework that helps translate physical changes in the climate – heat, cold, rain, drought, snow, wind, coastal flooding and more – into what they mean for society and ecosystems.

    Adaptation Efforts and Policy Guidelines for Bangladesh at Global Warming of 1.5°C, 2°C, and 4°C: Adaptation Efforts and Policy Guidelines for Bangladesh at Specific Warming Levels (Modern Challenges and Approaches to Humanitarian Engineering)

    Bangladesh is going to be the worst-hit country from the climate change. The impacts of climate change at specific warming levels (SWLs) of 1.5°C, 2°C, and 4°C upon the natural and social systems of Bangladesh are assessed. Eleven regional climate models' findings show that the average Bangladesh summer temperature is likely to rise from 3.24°C to 5.77°C while the mean annual precipitation is likely to increase up to 25% by the end of the century. The yield trends of Bangladesh in terms of Boro and Aman rice are projected to gradually decrease from 2-15% at a specific warming level of 1.5°C, 5-20% at a specific warming level of 2°C, and 5-25% at a specific warming level of 4°C. A few adaptation options are proposed for different SWLs and sea-level rise. Managing climate for SWLs could be for ‘short term' up to 2020, ‘medium term' up to 2050, and ‘long term' up to 2080. The end goal is a sustainable, resilient, and transformed Bangladesh, where additional policy documents, strategies, and action plans to mainstream adaptation to combat climate change are necessary.

    The Urban Drainage Study for GopalganjPourashava Considering Future Climate Change Impacts

    The Urban Drainage Study for Gopalganj Pourashava Considering Future Climate Change Impacts(Water Management: A View from Multidisciplinary Perspectives )

    This study focuses on an investigation, through hydraulic modelling, of the urban drainage systems in designing suitable drainage infrastructures for Gopalganj Pourashava by considering the possible impact of climate change on drainage. The daily rainfall data of Madaripur station from the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) for the base period of 1987–2016 has been analysed to prepare the IDF (Intensity–Duration–Frequency) curves for different return periods by fitting Extreme Value Type-1 (Gumbel) Distribution. Projected rainfall data has been obtained from 11 Regional Climate Models simulated considering high-end scenarios (RCP8.5) over the CORDEX South Asia domain for the near future (2017–2046). Design hyetographs were developed for 10 years 2-hour storm, which was later applied to generate runoff using the SWMM model. Water levels obtained from the frequency analysis at Atharobanki and the peak flow of Old Madhumati at Haridaspur for a 20-year return period are then used as boundary conditions for the model. Afterwards, natural canals which overtopped during the simulation have been identified. Finally, five alternative design conditions based on node flooding have been proposed to improve the urban drainage system. A comparison between the present and future drainage scenarios under different climate conditions has also been represented.


    The Ganges River Basin: Status and Challenges in Water, Environment and Livelihoods (Earthscan Series on Major River Basins of the World)

    The Ganges is one of the most complex yet fascinating river systems in the world. The basin is characterized by a high degree of heterogeneity from climatic, hydrological, geomorphological, cultural, environmental and socio-economic perspectives. More than 500 million people are directly or indirectly dependent upon the Ganges River Basin, which spans China, Nepal, India and Bangladesh. While there are many books covering one aspect of the Ganges, ranging from hydrology to cultural significance, this book is unique in presenting a comprehensive inter-disciplinary overview of the key issues and challenges facing the region.

    Assessment of Sea Level Rise on Bangladesh Coast Sealevel rise through Trend Analysis

    Assessment of Sea Level Rise on Bangladesh CoastSea level risethrough Trend Analysis

    The coastal zone of Bangladesh is most vulnerable to climate change because of its geographic location, flat topography, high population density, high level of poverty, and reliance of many livelihoods on climate sensitive sectors particularly, agriculture, fisheries and water resources. The average elevation of the southwest coastal zone ranges from 1m to 2m and in the southeast coastal zone it is 4 to 5m. The risks from adverse climate induced sea level rise will increase the risks of the already vulnerable population in the coastal region. This book provides information on the trends of the tidal water level to visualize the historic change of sea level rise along the coast of Bangladesh.

    Retrospective Analysis of Agro-meteorological Information in Bangladesh

    Retrospective Analysis of Agro-meteorological Information in Bangladesh

    Agriculture production is largely depends on the weather and climate information. Being agrarian country, the information derived from hydro-meteorological and satellite observations are not readily available or analyzed to provide fruitful information for crop growth. This book provides useful information of various types of risks indicators (drought, floods etc.) derived from the agro-metrological data. Information were presented for different crop seasons and for different agro-ecological zones of Bangladesh. It also determine ago-climate zones of Bangladesh using multivariate analysis of climatic variables.

    Geoinformatics for Climate Change Studies

    Geoinformatics for Climate Change Studies

    Climate change is increasingly being considered a critical topic in research and policy-making. Evidences related to climate change deal with spatial and non-spatial data, which can be utilized for policy formulation. Geoinformatics, which includes remote sensing, GIS, GPS, and ICT, provides the most relevant technology to monitor climate change-related variables at different dimensions and scales. Geoinformatics for Climate Change Studies discusses the art of using this technology for investigating, monitoring, documenting, and understanding the impacts of climate change. This book provides information on the concepts and uses of geoinformatics, and focuses on filling the gap in the available literature on the subject by bringing together concepts, theories, and experiences of experts in this field.

    Engineering Concerns of Flood

    Engineering Concerns of Flood

    This book has been designed as a reference work on various engineering aspects related to the causes and consequences of flood, which is a very common natural hazard in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is a small country of 147570 sq. km., but has a very large population of about 130 million, majority of whom are poor. The economic condition of Bangladeshi people makes them very vulnerable to the adverse effects of natural forces. Lack of proper planning and preparedness, poor quality of infrastructure and their inadequate maintenance also add to people's sufferings and magnitude of loss. This book is an outcome of a systematic research initiative that was undertaken by the academics of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) during and after the 1998 flood that lasted for several months causing havoc to almost every spheres of life.


  • Last updated on 27 March 2023

    Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional