Accuracy radiocarbon dating

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This explains why the Wikipedia article on Carbon $ lists the half-life of Carbon 14 as 30 \pm 40$ years.Other resources report this half-life as the absolute amounts of 30$ years, or sometimes simply 00$ years.New discoveries have filled in the gaps, and shown us in unimaginable detail the shape of the great ‘tree of life’.Darwin and his contemporaries could never have imagined the improvements in resolution of stratigraphy that have come since 1859, nor guessed what fossils were to be found in the southern continents, nor predicted the huge increase in the number of amateur and professional paleontologists worldwide.Our understanding of the shape and pattern of the history of life depends on the accuracy of fossils and dating methods.

This is very useful as a record of the radiocarbon concentration in the past.

Radiocarbon measurements are always reported in terms of years `before present' (BP).

This figure is directly based on the proportion of radiocarbon found in the sample.

Here’s Matt Mc Grath, reporting for BBC News: At current rates of emissions increase, according to the research, a new piece of clothing in 2050 would have the same carbon date as a robe worn by William the Conqueror 1,000 years earlier.

“It really depends on how much emissions increase or decrease over the next century, in terms of how strong this dilution effect gets,” said Dr Graven.

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