Capacity Building on Climate Change Modeling for Bangladesh
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1. Introduction

Bangladesh is recognized worldwide as one of the countries most vulnerable to the impacts of global warming and climate change. This is due to its unique geographic location, dominance of floodplains, low average elevation from the sea, high population density, high levels of poverty, and overwhelming dependence on nature, its resources and services. 

The impacts of global warming and climate change are felt worldwide. For Bangladesh they are most critical as a large part of the population is chronically exposed and vulnerable to a range of natural hazards. Already, the human suffering and cost to development is massive to this country and its people who are victims of human induced global warming.

It is therefore essential to resort to climate change impact modeling for local level predictions to pursue climate resilient development. Climate models are based on well-established physical principles and their ability to reproduce observed features of recent climate and past climate changes have been demonstrated in various studies commissioned by the Inter-governmental panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Worldwide, climate impact prediction modeling provides useful scenarios of impacts of climate change in seeking answers to the questions, and helping the vulnerable respond to the challenge.

At the moment, there is very limited local capacity in Bangladesh as regards climate modeling and impact prediction. To address this particular concern, the Climate Change Study Cell of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) has prepared this proposal to build in-country capacity to model and predict climate change impacts using state of the art technologies.

2. Background

In the past, Department of International Development (DFID), UK has made significant contribution to the sustainable development of Bangladesh. DFID has funded many projects on disaster management such as Comprehensive Disaster Management Program and Climate Change Cell of Department of Environment. In the past, many collaborative research projects were funded by DFID. Recently, three years DFID funded research projects entitled; “Impact of Climate and Sea Level Change in Part of Indian Sub-Continent (CLASIC)” has been completed at BUET in collaboration Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (Wallingford, UK). DFID also supports capacity building of the academic institution through overseas training program. In August 2008, CDMP funded Dr. Saiful Islam  to attend the PRECIS Regional climate change modeling training workshop held in University of Reading, UK.

Therefore, this project of training workshops will enhance the continuous support of DFID, Bangladesh to build the nation's capacity for climate change.  

 3. Objectives:

 The main objectives of this project are the following:

i.       Set up a climate change modeling lab by procuring necessary hardware and software

ii.      Build capacity to understand and simulate climate change models and scenarios.

iii.    Develop capacity to analysis and interpret output from climate models.  

iv.    Create awareness about climate change risks and facilitate incorporation of climatic risks in development planning.

3. Scope of the Work

Comprehensive need-based training will be arranged using regional climate change models. The following training workshops and associated activities on climate change modeling have been planned.  

  1. Set up a modern and dedicated climate change computational lab that can be used for modeling of future impacts as well as training.
  2. A workshop on the PRECIS regional climate model will be conducted to generate scenarios for the South Asia region including Bangladesh. Resource persons from the Met Office Hadley Center, UK, will provide training at this workshop.
  3. A follow up workshop immediately after the PRECIS workshop will be organized to focus on understanding and sharing of model results.

In addition to the results from the climate modelling workshops, seminars and presentations on interpretation of simulation results and risks due to climate change will be organized for potential model users such as planning cells of different ministries, academic and research institutions and interested civil society think tanks.

Last updated on April 12, 2010 (c) Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology