A New Twist in the Radiocarbon Tale

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Science  21 Dec 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5551, pp. 2494-2495
DOI: 10.1126/science.1068023

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Radiocarbon measurements are an important dating tool in archaeology and paleoclimate. Radiocarbon ages must, however, be calibrated against records with known calendar ages. In her Perspective, Reimer discusses the implications of the reports by Manning et al. and Kromer et al., who show that records from different locations in the Northern Hemisphere may have the same calendar age but a different radiocarbon-age. Understanding and predicting these radiocarbon age offsets will be important for high-precision chronologies and for elucidating exchange processes between carbon reservoirs.