Rising Water: India’s Sunderbans
India’s Sunderbans islands, on the rim of the Bay of Bengal, are threatened by sea level rise caused by global warming. Scientists say the rising water is causing a variety of impacts, including greater erosion—and thus loss of land—and changes in salinity. Among the unexpected impacts of these changes, Royal Bengal tigers appear to be changing their habitats; moving from uninhabited regions designated as a nature reserve to places where they encounter more people. Meet the Indian humanitarian Tushar Kanjilal, tiger expert Pranabes Sanyal and island dweller Anjuman Bibi. Bibi’s house and 7 acres of farmland were carried away in a recent flood. Standing amidst the wreckage of her house, she says her family is now landless. By one estimate the Sunderbans islands will lose 15% of their area by 2020, about 40 square kilometers. Tushar Kanjilal says many people will become landless environmental refugees. He calls on the Indian government and other countries to help save these people. “The problem has not been created locally and it can’t be addressed locally,” says Kanjilal.
Voyage of Icebreaker Oden
In 2006 the National Science Foundation hired the Swedish icebreaker Oden to create a channel through a 15-mile band of ice blocking its Antarctic research base, McMurdo Station, from the sea. In addition to clearing the way, the Oden carried researchers on board, who conducted several scientific studies that could shed light on how global warming might be affecting certain regions of Antarctica. Watch the ship plow through the famed Drake Passage and around the perimeter of the southern continent.