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Experts: Dhaka is hotter than the rest of the country

  • Published at 08:55 pm November 28th, 2018
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An urban heat island (UHI) is an urban area or metropolitan area that is significantly warmer than its surrounding rural areas due to human activities Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

The workshop was jointly organized by the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS), Curtin University, Australia and department of meteorology, Dhaka University, and funded by World Bank

Rapid and unplanned urbanization has caused the intensity of Dhaka’s urban heat island (UHI) phenomenon to increase to two degrees in 2017, said experts at a workshop on climate change on Wednesday. 

An urban heat island (UHI) is an urban area or metropolitan area that is significantly warmer than its surrounding rural areas due to human activities.

In a paper presented by experts at the inception workshop called “Mitigation Strategies for the Urban Microclimate of Dhaka Megacity to Reduce Adverse Climate Change Impacts,” they said that high levels of UHI concentration can cause increase in heat extremes, heat waves, changes in microclimate and potential to increase the global ecological footprint of cities.

The workshop was jointly organized by the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS), Curtin University, Australia and department of meteorology, Dhaka University, and funded by World Bank’s “Innovation Funding and Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data.”

Experts at the workshop titled ‘Mitigation Strategies for the Urban Microclimate of Dhaka Megacity to Reduce Adverse Climate Change Impacts’ at Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies on Wednesday, November 28, 2018 |Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka TribuneDr Shamsul Alam, member (senior secretary) at the General Economics Division (GED) of Bangladesh Planning Commission who was a chief guest at the workshop, said: “In the last three years the air quality has drastically declined, there is a lot of dust pollution and the ground water level is decreasing. In the next five-year plan, the government will take serious steps to create greener more livable cities.”

Architect Iqbal Habib and member secretary, Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA) said that urban renewal programs could help tackle some of the problems that Dhaka faces today. 

“Canals, flood flow zones and ponds were main water resources of Dhaka and we can still reclaim 41 of the 52 canals that are illegally occupied,” he said. 

Dr Ashraf Dewan from Curtin University, Australia and BIISS’s Research Director Dr Mahfuz Kabir made the keynote presentation. Chairman of the department of meteorology, University of Dhaka presided over the workshop. 

Dr Abdus Salam of the department of chemistry, University of Dhaka, Dr AK Enamul Haque from the department of economics, East West University, Dr Kazi Maruful Islam from the department of development studies, University of Dhaka, Ahsan Rony, founder and president, Green Savers Association were the panel members at the event.

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