"The radiocarbon dating technique may significantly underestimate the age of sediment for samples older than 30,000 years,” said the authors of the report from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Germany’s Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics.
“Thus it is necessary to pay [special] attention when using such old carbon data for palaeoclimatic or archaeological interpretations," they added.
By the year 2100, the atmosphere will have a radiocarbon age of 2,000 years old. If Graven's calculations are correct, carbon dating as we know it today will no longer be reliable by the year 2030.
Which means scientists won’t be able to use carbon dating to distinguish between new materials and artifacts that are hundreds or thousands of years old.
Several factors affect radiocarbon test results, not all of which are easy to control objectively.
For this reason, it’s preferable to date objects using multiple methods, rather than relying on one single test.
Question: "Is carbon dating a reliable method for determining the age of things?
The chemist who developed carbon dating, Willard Libby, won the Nobel Prize for his work.Radiocarbon dating can’t tell the difference between wood that was cut and immediately used for the spear, and wood that was cut years before being re-used for that purpose.Nor can it tell if a much older spearhead was attached to a brand-new shaft.“Seldom has a single discovery in chemistry had such an impact on the thinking in so many fields of human endeavour,” one of Libby's colleagues wrote at the time, according to the Nobel Foundation.Today, carbon dating is used so widely as to be taken for granted.