Set in the low-lying Ganges–Brahmaputra River Delta, Bangladesh sits in a perfect storm of climactic conditions. About 50 percent of the area would be flooded if the sea level were to rise by just one meter. Bangladesh also lies at the heart of the monsoon belt. Natural calamities, such as floods, tropical cyclones, tornadoes and tidal bores occur here almost every year — with tragic results.
The largely poor residents of one of the most densely populated areas of the world face an uphill battle. By 2050, rising sea levels will inundate 17 percent of the land and displace about 18 million people, the New York Times reports.
And like Venice, Bangladesh is also sinking. The nation relies almost entirely on groundwater for drinking supplies because the rivers are so polluted. "The resultant pumping causes the land to settle. So as sea levels are rising, Bangladesh’s cities are sinking, increasing the risks of flooding. Poorly constructed seawalls compound the problem," according to the Times.