London, July 31 : Satellite images have shown that the landmass of Bangladesh is growing because of sediment dumped by rivers.
"Satellite images of Bangladesh over the past 32 years show that the country is growing annually by about 20 square kilometres (12.5 square miles)," said Maminul Haque Sarker of the Dhaka-based Centre for Environment and Geographic Information Services.
Earlier, a report by UN scientists has projected that rising sea levels will inundate 17% of Bangladesh by 2050, making about 30 million people homeless.
But, according to a report by BBC News, due to an increase in landmass, Bangladesh may not be as vulnerable to rising sea levels caused by climate change as previously feared.
This was due to the billion tonnes of sediment that the Ganges, the Brahmaputra and 200 other rivers bring from the Himalayas each year before crossing Bangladesh.
Only about a third of this sediment makes it into the Bay of Bengal.
Much of the rest is dumped in Bangladesh's vast delta, attaching itself to river banks, or even creating new islands.
According to Sarkar, in the next 50 years, this could add up to the country gaining 1,000 square kilometres.