Professor Christopher Bronk Ramsey co-authored this article published in Science titled 'Radiocarbon: A key tracer for studying Earth’s dynamo, climate system, carbon cycle, and sun'. Read the article here.
Radiocarbon (14C) has long been recognized as providing an essential dating method covering the past 55,000 years. However, the further role of 14C as a diagnostic tracer throughout the Earth and climate system is often less widely appreciated. Radiocarbon is formed by cosmic particles and then dispersed across multiple Earth system compartments. Consequently, accurate knowledge of past 14C levels directly enables new discoveries and provides connections across broad research areas. We present recent advances in knowledge of past 14C and the resulting insights that improve our understanding of climate processes, solar activity, geophysics, and the carbon cycle. Measurements providing improved resolution in the variations of 14C enable us to learn more about how these system components operate and interact.