Ice carbon dating

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Ice core records provide the most direct and detailed way to investigate past climate and atmospheric conditions.Snowfall that collects on glaciers each year captures atmospheric concentrations of dust, sea-salts, ash, gas bubbles and human pollutants.Prior to that, they had to depend on more rudimentary and imprecise methods, such as counting the number of rings on a cross-section of tree trunk.

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For instance, remnants of organic matter formerly held up as solid evidence of the most recent, large-scale global warming event some 40,000 years ago may actually date back far earlier to a previous ice age.Krypton dating is slightly different from carbon dating, since the half life of krypton is 230,000 years – about 5x that of carbon.This means that this new type of dating can reach much farther back in time.Once an organism dies, it stops taking in carbon-14.The carbon-14 it contained at the time of death decays over a long period of time, and the radioactivity of the material decreases.Theoretically, this method could be used to date ice that is 1.5 million years old.

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