Carbon dating with

Isotopes participate in the same chemical reactions but often at differing rates.When isotopes are to be designated specifically, the chemical symbol is expanded to identify the mass (for example, C is not stable.The carbon-14 atoms are always decaying, but they are being replaced by new carbon-14 atoms at a constant rate.

Maybe one in a trillion carbon atoms are carbon-14.

This is because pre-modern carbon 14 chronologies rely on standardised northern and southern hemisphere calibration curves to determine specific dates and are based on the assumption that carbon 14 levels are similar and stable across both hemispheres.

However, atmospheric measurements from the last 50 years show varying carbon 14 levels throughout.

In a paper published to the , the team led by archaeologist Stuart Manning identified variations in the carbon 14 cycle at certain periods of time throwing off timelines by as much as 20 years.

The possible reason for this, the team believes, could be due to climatic conditions in our distant past.

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