An archaeologist and an astrophysicist have discovered a new method of timekeeping that could reset key historic dates by inspecting ancient radioactive tree rings.Researchers from the University of Oxford, Michael Dee and Benjamin Pope, published their results today in Proceedings of the Royal Society A.“The discovery of past spikes in atmospheric radiocarbon activity, caused by major solar energetic particle events, has opened up new possibilities for high-precision chronometry,” the paper said.Academics believe that powerful solar storms caused bursts of radiation that showered down on Earth in 775 to 994 CE.If a Bigtooth Maple were cut down on Mount Lemmon in 2016 and it had 400 rings, you would know the tree started growing in 1616. What if it's been used to build a home or a ship or a bonfire?
In 1979, Desmond Clark said of the method “we would still be foundering in a sea of imprecisions sometime bred of inspired guesswork but more often of imaginative speculation” (3).
Trees are a ubiquitous form of plant life on planet Earth.
They are the lungs of the world, breathing in carbon dioxide and breathing out the oxygen on which animal life depends.
Dendrochronology and radiocarbon dating have intertwined histories, she explains, with roots firmly planted at the UA.
A 1929 edition of National Geographic boasts, "The Secret Of The Southwest Solved By Talkative Tree Rings." The 35-page article, penned in whimsical prose, was written by Andrew Douglass, the UA scientist who invented tree ring science. In addition to his work as an astronomer at the UA's Steward Observatory, Douglass was the first to discover that tree rings record time.
date of organic material - but an approximate age, usually within a range of a few years either way.