Ice carbon dating


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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