Isotopes to fight climate change

The effects of climate change are visible and tangible in the melting of glaciers, rising temperatures, extreme weather phenomena, etc., considerably affecting our lives today and with unpredictable consequences for the future.

While these effects have an impact on the climate, scientists agree that human activity is the main driver of climate change through the burning of fossil fuels, the clearing of farmland and forests, etc.

Emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero

It should be understood that the climate of a specific place is defined on the basis of the average weather conditions recorded over a considerable period, while climate change refers to variations in these weather patterns.

According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), greenhouse gas concentrations reached an all-time high in 2021. The concentration of carbon dioxide was 415.7 parts per million (ppm) worldwide, approximately 50% above pre-industrial levels.

How can we combat greenhouse emissions in the most efficient way? The answer is stable isotopes, non-radioactive forms of atoms.

Nuclear techniques are used to measure the amount and proportion of isotopes in matter, and this information, called the "isotopic signature," can be used to determine their origin. The isotopic composition of carbon dioxide in an air sample is like an identity card that reveals whether its origin is known or unknown.

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