Earth Systems and Environment

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 399–417 | Cite as

The Use of a CMIP5 Climate Model to Assess Regional Temperature and Precipitation Variation due to Climate Change: A Case Study of Dhaka Megacity, Bangladesh

  • Md. Masudur RahmanEmail author
  • Md. Abdur Rob
Original Article


The Dhaka megacity is highly vulnerable to anthropogenic climate change. In addition to the risks associated with high population density and unplanned infrastructures, temperature and precipitation changes are two environmental factors which have the greatest potential to negatively impact the residential population, both now and into the future. This study uses historical climate data recorded in the Dhaka area for the 1995–2014 period, as well as a multi-model dataset, to understand existing climate variability and possible future climate change scenarios. Future climate scenarios and predictions for this area have been carried out with CMIP5 40 GCMs using the three new representative concentration pathways (RCP 4.5, RCP 6.0 and RCP 8.5) adopted by the IPCC. Climate model projections suggest that the average temperature would increase approximately 2.56 °C by the end of the twenty-first century and future monsoonal rainfall events would also substantially increase in frequency, particularly in the month of July. The results indicate that the long, hot and humid (pre-monsoon) and humid and wet (monsoon) season will persist over Dhaka for an increased length of time. A multi-model ensemble projection clearly showed that the risks associated with the modeled climate change parameters could increase Dhaka’s vulnerability to climate change by the end of the twenty-first century. It also indicated that issues associated with waterlogging, public health, transport system, and water supply would impact many areas within the Dhaka megacity. This study provides information, which can be used to assist in the development of measures to support the sustainable growth of Dhaka.


Climate change Climate variability Projections Future climate RCPs 



The authors wish to thank the ICT Division, Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology and the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, for providing a Master of Philosophy (M. Phil.) Research Fellowship for this work. The authors are also grateful to the International Global Change Institute (IGCI) and the University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand, for software sponsorship (SimCLIM 2013), the provision of licensed software and the CMIP5 AR5 Global and Bangladesh spatial dataset used for future climate change projections.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography and EnvironmentUniversity of DhakaDhakaBangladesh

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