The School of Oceanographic Studies at Kolkata's Jadavpur University said the island, known in India as New Moore Island and in Bangladesh as South Talpatti Island, appears completely underwater on recent satellite images, and scientists said other islands could soon follow, the BBC reported Wednesday.
"What these two countries could not achieve from years of talking, has been resolved by global warming," the school's Professor Sugata Hazra said of the ownership dispute.
He said the island, which never hosted a permanent settlement and previously reached only 6 feet above sea level, could be only the first of many in the region to disappear. Hazra said his research indicates the speed of the rising water has increased during the past decade.
"We will have ever larger numbers of people displaced from the Sunderbans as more island areas come under water," Hazra said.
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