"The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has released its annual report for 2011. The report highlights, inter alia, its research activities on climate change issues in the oceans, isotope applications in hydrology and climate studies, and nuclear energy as a mitigation option.
The report indicates that the Agency strengthened its research activities to monitor radionuclides in the marine and terrestrial environment, and to study climate change issues in the oceans, in particular to study the impact of ocean acidification and climate change on oceanographic processes, ecosystems and associated services.
It stresses that the IAEA's Global Network of Isotopes in Precipitation, managed in collaboration with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), has been the primary global database since 1961 for isotope applications in hydrology and climate studies. An atlas of isotopes in river waters was completed to aid the efforts of member States in monitoring the hydrological impacts of climate change, as rivers integrate the spatial and temporal changes in precipitation, water use and land use patterns in a catchment.
The report notes that increasing use of groundwater, in part to mitigate the impact of climate change, requires a better understanding of aquifer recharge, for which isotopes of noble gases are a powerful tool. In this context, IAEA informs that a portable sampling device for dissolved noble gases was developed in 2011 that allows wider use of isotopes for climate change adaptation studies."
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