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A backstory for a science fiction novel I am writing involves mapping out some of the devastating consequences of climate change and a simultaneous water crisis in Bangladesh. I'm curious about your input on future directions and improving this portion of the tale.

The setting is around the year 2100 with a hypothetical (though plausible) 3C temperature increase. Sea levels have risen by about a meter. Consequences of this climate change unfolds as a water shortage compounded by major flooding due to a powerful typhoon. These events unfold in Bangladesh in an event referred to as the "Bangladesh Water Crisis."

The net effect is the massive migration of millions of people - but my (albeit limited) understanding of geopolitics in this region is that Bangladeshi refugees are not exactly desired in the neighboring states of India, Myanmar, or China (to the far north). The result of this humanitarian crisis is military action from surrounding countries, leading to the death of millions of people.

I'm interested in identifying one or two major cities that are particularly susceptible to flooding / water damage, along with the most likely path that refugees would take to leave Bangladesh.

Thanks for reading. Please consider providing a name for the typhoon. If I select your answer, I'll consider including the name you choose for the typhoon in the book :).

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    $\begingroup$ Questions like this asking "What would the effect of an event on society?" are too broad for this site. Can you try revising this to ask a more specific and detailed question? $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Jan 6 at 3:20
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    $\begingroup$ Military action seems way too drastic and not a plausible level of escalation without more information. The nations that have historically bad relations with Bangladesh may likely be more willing to station more guards at the border and lower their standards for lethal enforcement. That is a far cry from everything "military action" entails. Also, China and India are big enough that a politician might take advantage of the situation to score political brownie points in one direction or another. $\endgroup$
    – user93359
    Jan 6 at 3:27
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    $\begingroup$ The question near the end of the body of the text appears to be nicely constrained and answerable now, would be ideal to edit the title and text in the first paragraph to make the new focus clear. $\endgroup$ Jan 6 at 3:30
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    $\begingroup$ Ok! Good learning. Newcomer to this site. Thanks for your patience. $\endgroup$
    – FontFamily
    Jan 6 at 3:31
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    $\begingroup$ It gets worse. Assuming the predicted rate of loss in glacier mass and hence run off from the Himalayas are accurate AND assuming predictions re: the projected rate of ground water depletion are also accurate then both India and Pakistan face huge problems with social cohesiveness/food production by 2100. And unlike Bangladesh they're both nuclear armed! $\endgroup$
    – Mon
    Jan 6 at 8:15

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Anywhere in the Khulna Region, and earlier than you think.

It is a great travesty that Bangladesh, one of the poorest nations in the world that has only contributed a tiny fraction of global carbon emissions, will be the most mainland impacted country in the world due to those emissions.

Unfortunately, over 60% of the entire landmass of Bangladesh is less than 5m above sea level. Even a modest rise in sea levels of 0.5m (predicted by the latest 2050) would result in 11% of its land underwater, displacing a colossal 15 million people.

Your timescale of 2100 is actually very optimistic. Already even today Bangladesh has lost an estimated 1.9% of its total GDP to climate change effects and the small increase in sea level we currently results in an estimated 1500 people per day (mainly farmers) evacuating to Dhaka from the coast as their farms are inundated with salt water and untenable.

To answer your question then - the most vulnerable coastal districts currently affected (and which in the immediate future require evacuation) are Khulna, Satkira and Bagerhat. It is notable these do lie along India's border - so your scenario is somewhat believable.

The only exit routes for these areas would either be through to India, or across the Padma River to Dhaka.

One could argue this is already happening, and you need not wait till 2100.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for spelling out some details. I want to piggy back on this for a side comment on the geopolitics implications OP touched on - given the carbon emissions context, it is completely plausible to me that China would help Bangladesh as some form of proxy to accuse the US for those emissions and flip each other's international image while taking the opportunity to pivot itself and ditch their highly polluting past. They're already leading in EV adoption rate and an international incident is just the sort of thing they need. $\endgroup$
    – user93359
    Jan 6 at 7:31
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    $\begingroup$ This is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you for your help with this. $\endgroup$
    – FontFamily
    Jan 6 at 12:28
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    $\begingroup$ How likely is it that India would accept a few million refugees from Bangladesh? $\endgroup$
    – FontFamily
    Jan 7 at 1:27
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    $\begingroup$ @FontFamily India accept a flood of non-Hindu refugees? From a country that it went to war with not that long ago? Very unlikely. Even today, we see violence against non-Hindu groups inside India. The real question is: will the violence be locally organized, or will the India military be involved? $\endgroup$
    – David R
    Jan 7 at 15:07
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    $\begingroup$ That's crazy to think that. What would happen to all these people then? No access to water, flooding in their home town, and mandatory displacement. Now what? $\endgroup$
    – FontFamily
    Jan 7 at 18:54

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