Carbon dating study
If a Bigtooth Maple were cut down on Mount Lemmon in 2016 and it had 400 rings, you would know the tree started growing in 1616. The rings could still tell how many years the tree lived, but not necessarily . He set out on a series of expeditions across the southwest to bridge the gap between contemporary wood and wood beams from the ruins of civilizations long gone.He noticed that trees across the same region, in the same climate, develop rings in the same patterns. Climate records from a Japanese lake are set to improve the accuracy of the dating technique, which could help to shed light on archaeological mysteries such as why Neanderthals became extinct.Carbon dating is used to work out the age of organic material — in effect, any living thing.By measuring the ratio of the radio isotope to non-radioactive carbon, the amount of carbon-14 decay can be worked out, thereby giving an age for the specimen in question.But that assumes that the amount of carbon-14 in the atmosphere was constant — any variation would speed up or slow down the clock.For decades, radiocarbon dating has been a way for scientists to get a rough picture of when once-living stuff lived.The method has been revolutionary and remains one of the most commonly used dating methods to study the past, but according to Charlotte Pearson, it’s ready for a makeover.
Radiocarbon is not used to date the age of rocks or to determine the age of the earth.
Pearson is an assistant professor of dendrochronology at the University of Arizona who studies the past lives of trees to better understand the history of civilizations.