Wiki radiometric dating

The carbon-14 isotope would vanish from Earth's atmosphere in less than a million years were it not for the constant influx of cosmic rays interacting with molecules of nitrogen (NFigure 1: Diagram of the formation of carbon-14 (forward), the decay of carbon-14 (reverse).

Carbon-14 is constantly be generated in the atmosphere and cycled through the carbon and nitrogen cycles.

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But that assumes that the amount of carbon-14 in the atmosphere was constant — any variation would speed up or slow down the clock.

Various geologic, atmospheric and solar processes can influence atmospheric carbon-14 levels.

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