Tree ring dating flaws

Posted by / 07-Jun-2015 06:30

Tree ring dating flaws

Climate records from a Japanese lake are set to improve the accuracy of the dating technique, which could help to shed light on archaeological mysteries such as why Neanderthals became extinct.

Each year, trees add a layer of growth between the older wood and the bark.As a rule, carbon dates are younger than calendar dates: a bone carbon-dated to 10,000 years is around 11,000 years old, and 20,000 carbon years roughly equates to 24,000 calendar years.The problem, says Bronk Ramsey, is that tree rings provide a direct record that only goes as far back as about 14,000 years.Various geologic, atmospheric and solar processes can influence atmospheric carbon-14 levels.Since the 1960s, scientists have started accounting for the variations by calibrating the clock against the known ages of tree rings.

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Interestingly, trees in tropical regions grow year round and therefore show no real obvious annual growth rings.