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Fortunately, we do have an organic object that tracks carbon in the atmosphere on a yearly basis: tree rings.Trees maintain carbon 14 equilibrium in their growth rings—and trees produce a ring for every year they are alive.

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He first demonstrated the accuracy of radiocarbon dating by accurately estimating the age of wood from an ancient Egyptian royal barge of which the age was known from historical documents.

Radiocarbon dating is one of the best known archaeological dating techniques available to scientists, and the many people in the general public have at least heard of it.

Shy of a date stamp on an object, it is still the best and most accurate of dating techniques devised.

All living things exchange the gas Carbon 14 (C14) with the atmosphere around them—animals and plants exchange Carbon 14 with the atmosphere, fish and corals exchange carbon with dissolved C14 in the water.

Within the last few years, a new potential source for further refining radiocarbon curves is Lake Suigetsu in Japan.