Water and climate change

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. It has also continued to help Member States use nuclear science and technology to monitor, mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change on water resources. 

  • Precipitation

    Rain and snow events are largely driven by global climate conditions. The hydrogen and oxygen isotopes of precipitation are highly sensitive indicators of their sources and history in the water cycle and are fundamental to our understanding of many environmental processes. Read more →

  • palioclimate


    The isotopic fingerprints of precipitation can be locked into stable historical archives, such as glaciers and polar ice, ocean and lake sediments, tree rings and ancient groundwater. These paleo-climatic archives can be used to reconstruct past climatic conditions and document environmental changes over centuries and millennia. Read more →

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