Advancing science: IAEA supports young scientists at ocean acidification symposium

The IAEA has sponsored 18 early career scientists to attend the 5th International Symposium on the Ocean in a High CO2 World, Lima, 13–16 September 2022. (Photo: IAEA)

As part of its commitment to promote international collaboration, the IAEA highlighted the role nuclear and isotopic techniques can play in assessing the impacts of ocean acidification at the 5th International Symposium on the Ocean in a High CO2 World, held last week in Lima, Peru. In addition to delivering workshops and presentations, the IAEA sponsored the attendance of 18 early career scientists at the event.

Ocean acidification is one of the greatest threats of our time to marine organisms, ecosystems and resources. It occurs when carbon dioxide (CO2) is released into the atmosphere by human activities and is absorbed by the ocean: the ocean takes up about a quarter of all human-made CO2 emitted to the atmosphere each year. The resulting change in the acidity of seawater can have lasting, detrimental effects on fragile marine ecosystems. Impacts of ocean acidification can also have drastic socio-economic consequences in countries that are dependent on marine resources.

“Ocean acidification is now a reality whose economic consequences are clearly noticeable and whose effects could be devastating in the long term for many sectors, starting with the farming and harvesting of many shellfish and crustaceans that are already severely impacted,” said Prince Albert II of Monaco, in his opening remarks at the symposium. “We know that these sectors represent vital sources of income and food for millions of people.”

Studying the impact of ocean acidification is a high priority for the IAEA. The Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre (OA-ICC) at the IAEA Marine Environment Laboratories in Monaco, works to communicate, promote and facilitate international activities on ocean acidification in three categories: science, capacity building and communication. It coordinates communication among experts and facilitates outreach to stakeholders, ranging from scientists and policymakers to educators, the media and the general public.

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Ellie McDonald, IAEA, 20 September 2022. Full article.

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