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BBC - Global Warming Causes Mud To Move

BBC News - Disputed Bay of Bengal island 'vanishes' say scientists

A tiny island claimed for years by India and Bangladesh in the Bay of Bengal has disappeared beneath the rising seas, scientists in India say.
The uninhabited territory south of the Hariabhanga river was known as New Moore Island to the Indians and South Talpatti Island to the Bangladeshis.
Professor Hazra said his studies revealed that sea levels in this part of the Bay of Bengal have risen much faster over the past decade than they had done in the previous 15 years.
And he predicts that in the coming decade other islands in the Sundarbans delta region will follow New Moore, or South Talpatti, beneath the waves.
"We will have ever larger numbers of people displaced from the Sunderbans as more island areas come under water," Prof Hazra said.

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The emergence of the island was first discovered by an American satellite in 1974 that showed the island to have an area of 2,500 sq meters (27,000 sq ft). Later, various remote sensing surveys showed that the island had expanded gradually to an area of about 10,000 sq meters (110,000 sq ft) at low tide, including a number of ordinarily submerged shoals. The highest elevation of the island had never exceeded two meters above sea level...it disappeared at some point in the first decades of the 2000's..

You wouldn't guess that it was a temporary muddy shoal from the BBC report - nor would you get the Tide Gauge readings to show the rising seas...

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Extracts from 'Wiki', updated yesterday:
'The island was claimed by both Bangladesh and India, although neither country established any permanent settlement there because of the island's geological instability based on silt deposits in a delta which floods every year.

There is no available conclusive evidence as to which side of the island the main channel flowed, and it may have changed over time given shifting silt of the Sunderbans delta. A 1981 detailed survey of water depths showed the main and much deeper channel and main flow on the east side of the island, favoring India.

On the other hand, the Bangladeshi government claims, as during Ziaur Rahman's visit to India in late 1970s, that data provided clearly showed the main current flow on the western side of the island's location, thus favoring Bangladesh.
River channels here often shift their locations from time to time.'

Soooo: The current washes away the silt on both sides! The place was geologically (and politically) unstable. what might the 'man on the Clapham omnibus' conclude I wonder?

Also perhaps a useful metaphor for the Labour party? Might we be speaking (in 2011) of Labour doing a 'Talpatti' when referring to their last days in office?

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