By Science Dump
Carbon dating is a very useful technique that scientists use to determine the age of an object. It could be anything from bones to wood, as long as it’s organic material. Fields such as archaeology, geology and ecology use carbon dating on a regular basis, but a new study shows that by the year 2050 carbon dating might have become impossible.
Fossil fuel emissions are ageing the Earth prematurely
The paper “Impact of fossil fuel emissions on atmospheric radiocarbon and various applications of radiocarbon over this century” by climate-physics researcher for Imperial College London, Heather Graven, states that our planet is being aged prematurely by fossil fuel emissions, which is:
diluting the fraction of atmospheric carbon dioxide containing radiocarbon. This is making the atmosphere appear as though it has ‘aged,’ or lost radiocarbon by radioactive decay occurring over time.
As a result of the great amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, new organic materials will appear to be about a 1000 years old, and by the year 2100, fresh organic materials will seem to be 2000 years old! All due to the atmosphere’s radiocarbon age being older than it actually should be.
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