Our reliance on fossil fuel combustion is ruining carbon dating

Radiocarbon dating is an incredibly useful technique. It has been used to date objects from within approximately the last 60,000 years, revolutionising archaeology and finding uses in everything from detecting fake wine vintages to identifying illegal ivory.

Unfortunately, humanity's reliance on fossil fuel combustion may ultimately mean that our species can’t have nice things like handy dating techniques. We’re releasing ancient carbon—in which the carbon-14 has long since...

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