Radiocarbon dating not accurate

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“Thus it is necessary to pay [special] attention when using such old carbon data for palaeoclimatic or archaeological interpretations," they added.

Their work was detailed in a paper in the latest issue of the journal .

Radiocarbon dating was invented in the 1950s by the American chemist Willard F.

You have to know what the atmospheric carbon level (the radiocarbon 'reservoir') was like at the time of an organism's death, in order to be able to calculate how much time has passed since the organism died.Their recent analysis of sediment from the largest freshwater lake in northeast China showed that its carbon clock stopped ticking as early as 30,000 years ago, or nearly half as long as was hitherto thought.As scientists who study earth’s (relatively) modern history rely on this measurement tool to place their findings in the correct time period, the discovery that it is unreliable could put some in a quandary.Trees maintain carbon 14 equilibrium in their growth rings—and trees produce a ring for every year they are alive.Although we don't have any 50,000-year-old trees, we do have overlapping tree ring sets back to 12,594 years.Other organic data sets examined have included varves (layers in sedimentary rock which were laid down annually and contain organic materials, deep ocean corals, speleothems (cave deposits), and volcanic tephras; but there are problems with each of these methods.

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