Shouldn't Carbon-14 concentration be the same everywhere?

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

Why is it that newer organic matter has more carbon-14 than older organic matter?

Isn't carbon constantly recycled, because of the carbon cycle? So C14-depleted carbon from old matter would enter the atmosphere, then be breathed in by new organic matter. The new matter would start off with lower levels of C14 than normal...right?

Or is Carbon 14 replenished in the atmosphere? If so, how?

P.S. I have the same question for other types of radiocarbon dating, eg. Uranium-Lead dating
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Orodruin
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Or is Carbon 14 replenished in the atmosphere? If so, how?
Cosmic rays hitting the atmosphere.

If C14 was not continuously created there would be none of it left today.
 
  • #3
Borek
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Shame on you. It is one of these questions that can be answered with a minimum effort of a quick google search or reading an article on C-14 on wikipedia.
 
  • #4
Orodruin
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Shame on you. It is one of these questions that can be answered with a minimum effort of a quick google search or reading an article on C-14 on wikipedia.
It might be added that the same is true about uranium-lead dating.
 

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