South Talpatti

South Talpatti

Global warming 'solved' a land dispute between India and Bangladesh: the island in dispute disappeared.

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South Talpatti or New Moore, was a small uninhabited offshore sandbar island in the Bay of Bengal, off the coast of the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta region. It emerged in the Bay of Bengal in the aftermath of the Bhola cyclone in 1970, and disappeared at some later point.

Although the island was uninhabited and there were no permanent settlements or stations located on it, both India and Bangladesh claimed sovereignty over it because of speculation over the existence of oil and natural gas in the region. The issue of sovereignty was also a part of the larger dispute over the Radcliffe Award methodology of settling the maritime boundary between the two nations. The matter was resolved on 7 July 2014, when the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) delivered a verdict in the "Bay of Bengal maritime boundary arbitration between Bangladesh and India" case. The PFA gave verdict in favour of Bangladesh.

In March 2010, Sugata Hazra of the School of Oceanographic Studies at Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India, said that the island had disappeared and that sea level rise caused by climate change was a factor. He said that sea level rise, changes in monsoonal rain patterns which altered river flows, and land subsidence were all contributing to the inundation of land in the northern Bay of Bengal. Hazra said that other islands in the Indian Sundarbans region are eroding very fast. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has estimated that 17 percent of Bangladesh will be submerged underwater by 2050 if sea levels rise by 3.3 feet (1.0 m) due to climate change.

Hazra said that due to global warming, temperatures in the Bay of Bengal area have been rising at an annual rate of 0.4 degrees Celsius and in the 2000-2009 decade, sea water level rose at a rate of 5 millimetres (0.20 in) a year. India is preparing to send a study team to physically assess the situation in the region.

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