Climate change

Nuclear and isotopic techniques are important tools to study climate change, which can help alleviate its effects on land, water and the oceans, and on food security. The IAEA helps Member States apply these techniques and assists them in developing safe and sustainable nuclear energy to mitigate climate change.

  • Ocean acidification

    Ocean acidification refers to the series of chemical changes occurring as seawater takes up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. While this uptake of carbon dioxide limits some of the effects of climate change, it will also modify marine environments, with potentially serious impacts on organisms and ecosystems. Read more →

  • Nuclear power and climate change

    Nuclear power is one of the lowest emitters of greenhouse gases available to generate electricity. The IAEA assists Member States that wish to introduce nuclear power and provides information to a broader audience engaged in energy, environmental and economic policy-making to support global climate change goals.  Read more →

  • Climate change and the water cycle

    Climate dynamics affect the sources and distribution of rain and snow worldwide. This can change river flows and the rates of replenishment of aquifers. Since the 1960s, the IAEA has been a world leader in generating and exchanging isotope hydrology scientific information through its global isotope observation networks. Read more →

  • Oceans and the carbon cycle

    While the full impacts of climate change on the oceans are unclear, studies predict increasing temperatures, rising sea levels and changes to the ocean chemistry, among others. The IAEA uses nuclear and isotopic techniques to evaluate the effects of climate change on marine organisms and biogeochemical cycles. Read more →

  • Food security and climate change

    Climate change is a serious threat to global food security, sustainable development and poverty eradication. Nuclear techniques offer substantial advantages over conventional techniques to measure the impact of climate change, helping agriculture to adapt and improve the resilience of food production systems. Read more →