Scientists have quantified the effect of climate change on soil salinity and crop production in Bangladesh. Their models suggest the monsoon will be unable to fully leach dry season salt deposits and that salt accumulation will become a major issue for farmers in coastal regions with farm productivity dropping by as much as 50%.
The team discovered that irrigation with water that contained a salinity measure of 8ppt resulted in incomplete salt leaching and an average crop loss of 50%. This level of damage is likely to make farming unsustainable and since salinisation is difficult to counteract, the ESPA Delta project is now researching salt tolerant crops.
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Projections of on-farm salinity in coastal Bangladesh
D. Clarke, S. Williams, M. Jahiruddin, K. Parks and M. Salehin
Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2015, Advance Article