What is radiocarbon dating of fossils
But she hopes the projections in her study could also help scientists prepare for the changes to come.
Radiocarbon is a radioactive form of carbon that’s created when nitrogen reacts with cosmic rays in the upper atmosphere.
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“If you think of parts of the deep ocean that are quite old, that have been sequestered for thousands of years, in the business-as-usual scenario, then the atmosphere would have the same radiocarbon fraction as the oldest part of the ocean,” she said. It’s very, very low.” The risk to researchers is that the old could become indistinguishable from the new if it is artificially aged by extra atmospheric carbon.
The periods of history that archaeologists might confuse with the present-day change based on the different scenarios.
The lower the amount of radiocarbon, the older the object.