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Fact Sheet

MEL Fact Sheet

Blue Planet

SUMMARY: Scientific Forum 2013
Nuclear Applications for a Sustainable Marine Environment 17-18 September 2013, Vienna, Austria

What's At Stake:

The disruptive impact of climate change and ocean acidification is a matter of global concern. Human well-being and prosperity depends in large part upon the health and productivity of oceans and the marine environment. However, this vast ecosystem is subject to increasing stress. Many of the stress factors are either caused, or worsened, by human activities on land. As we use more fossil fuels, greater amounts of carbon dioxide are emitted, trapping more heat that warms the oceans. A significant fraction of the emitted carbon dioxide is absorbed by the oceans, where the gas forms carbonic acid, increasing acidity levels. Pollution and resource overexploitation are additional factors that weaken marine ecosystem'sí resilience and make them more vulnerable to deterioration. This global challenge requires a multidisciplinary response to protect marine environments. The IAEA helps Member States use nuclear and isotopic techniques to acquire a precise understanding of the processes at work and to monitor pressures on the marine environment. The IAEAís 2013 Scientific Forum addressed many of these issues and demonstrated how nuclear and isotopic techniques make an important contribution towards effective stewardship of this essential ecosystem.
Link to report : Blue Planet


Preservation of a healthy marine environment and the sustainable development of marine resources are major tasks of the IAEA. As the unique marine laboratories in the UN system, EnviroLabs is designed to respond to regular requests for technical assistance not only from other UN agencies, but also its Member States, providing a better understanding of the monitoring and protection of the oceans through training courses and technical cooperation projects.


MARiS is an international database designed to provide information on radioactivity in the marine environment. Numerous scientists, institutions and organizations have contributed data to MARiS enhancing its usability. For further information please read this leaflet or visit MARiS webpage : http://maris.iaea.org