Climate Change Adaptation Using Nuclear Science

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The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has published an extensive report on how nuclear science and technology can help the world, especially in developing and vulnerable countries and sectors, adapt to climate change and build resilience against extreme weather events.

The report, ‘Nuclear Science and Technology for Climate Adaptation and Resilience,’ offers case studies on how nuclear technology can support climate adaptation in six thematic areas:

  1. Sustainable land management,
  2. Climate-smart agriculture,
  3. Food production systems,
  4. Analysis of GHG emissions,
  5. Sustainable water management, and
  6. Ocean change and marine ecosystems.  

Nuclear technologies are used to advance climate science to support member states to adapt to climate change. Examples of nuclear technology applications include:

  • providing information on soil erosion rates to assess climate change impacts on soil health and land degradation,
  • improve livestock feeding practices, monitor agrochemical inputs and assessment of chemical transfer to the environment,
  • water-saving technology for agricultural water management,
  • producing new varieties of crop species that could adapt to environmental stresses and extremes and resist to new pathogens, and much more.

The report mentions:

“From 2012 until 2020, the IAEA has supported 102 countries and territories in their efforts to adapt to climate change through 481 technical cooperation projects, with total disbursements of approximately €112 million.”

“From the total number of projects, 89 are Regional and Interregional projects that contribute to climate adaptation efforts, with total disbursements of €51.7 million. Most projects are located in Africa, followed by Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Europe and Central Asia. Over 70% of the IAEA’s climate adaptation-related projects focus on climate-smart agricultural practices and optimizing livestock and crop production.”

According to the IAEA October press release, the agency will be participating actively in COP26 to draw attention to the role of nuclear energy in climate change mitigation and raise awareness of how nuclear science and technology. 

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi will highlight the role of nuclear techniques in climate adaptation and mitigation during the COP26. He says that “Nuclear techniques offer a tangible way to respond to this challenge, such as breeding sturdier crops, protecting scarce water resources and much more – now and in the future.”

The overall objective of the IAEA’s work on climate adaption is to contribute to climate change adaptation efforts through research and technical cooperation in nuclear science and technology.

Read the entire report by clicking the link below:

Source Citation:

Ahead of COP26, IAEA Issues Report on the Role of Nuclear Science and Technology in Climate Change Adaptation. (2021 October 14). IAEA. Retrieved from

Nuclear Science and Technology for Climate Adaptation and Resilience. (2021, September). International Atomic Energy Agency. Retrieved from

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