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02-Mar-2021 09:46

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An accelerated dumping of CO2 into the atmosphere, especially since the 1970s, is beginning to mess up the accuracy of this radiocarbon dating.

Fossil fuels are so old that they do not contain any trace of “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.”“Fossil fuel emissions are going to impact some of these neat applications, no matter what,” she said.

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Scientists rely on a method called radiocarbon dating to determine the age of fossils or artifacts.

With time, the carbon ratio falls; the lower the ratio, the older the remains.