Nuclear Sciences in Climate Studies: fingerprinting precipitation origins using isotope tracers

9 Nov – 13.00-14.00 (UK TIME)
Location: Science Pavilion


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The IAEA has operated the Global Network of Isotopes in Precipitation (GNIP), a joint WMO and IAEA network, since 1961. Isotopes fall under the category of Nuclear Sciences and hence isotope hydrology highlights the important role that peaceful uses of Nuclear Sciences play in climate change modelling and development of climate adaptation strategies.

The isotopic composition gives precipitation an isotope fingerprint that can be used for tracing changes in the hydrological cycle. Since future projections of climate change are mainly based on assessment of past and present hydroclimate variation, fingerprinting water isotopes can support conventional hydrometeorological parameters, validate global climate models and trace specific hydrological and atmospheric processes such as water source trajectories, moisture transportation and precipitation formation. Understanding these processes helps to understand perturbations in the hydrological cycle that result in extreme weather events, such as floods and drought that are affecting many parts of the planet and generating humanitarian crises.

The main focus of the event will be a panel discussion involving members of developing countries on the importance of the GNIP database for understanding water resources and climate adaptation strategies, including impact of extreme weather events on communities in developing countries. The event will begin with a formal resigning of the WMO-IAEA GNIP agreement.

Run of the show



Assigned Person 

20 min 

Introduction; Formal resigning of the WMO and IAEA Agreement on GNIP

Moderator Craig Jantzen

5 minVideo Presentation


25 min

Panel Discussion 

10 min

Panel Q&A  

Moderator Craig Jantzen


Craig Jantzen

Climate Change Policy Analyst at IAEA


Najat Mokhtar picture

Ms Najat Mokhtar

Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Science and Applications at the IAEA

Ms Elena Manaenkova

Deputy Secretary-General at the World Meteorological Organization

Jodie-Miller Picture

Prof Jodie Miller

Section Head Isotope Hydrology, IAEA

Johannes Cullmann

Johannes Cullmann

Director, Water and Cryosphere, WMO

Prof Ana María Durán Quesada picture

Prof Ana María Durán Quesada

University of Costa Rica, Costa Rica

Paul Monks picture

Prof Paul Monks

Chief Scientific Adviser of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, UK

Dr Chantal-Laure Djebebe-Ndjiguim

University of Bangui, Central African Republic

Matthias Berninger, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs and Sustainability, Bayer

Matthias Berninger

Matthias Berninger (born 1971) is a former German politician and member of The Greens from 1993 until 2007.
From 2001 to 2005, Berninger served as Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection under minister Renate Künast in the second cabinet of Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. After leaving the government, he was his parliamentary group’s spokesperson on economic policy from 2005 until 2007.
Since 2019, Berninger has been serving as head of public and government affairs at Bayer.