Carbon dating explained children
If you are a member, we ask that you confirm your identity by entering in your email.You will then be sent a link via email to verify your account.When humans burn fossil fuels, most of the carbon quickly enters the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and traps heat in the atmosphere.In fact, the same element that our prehistoric ancestors burned as charcoal may be the key to next-generation tech materials.In 1985, Rick Smalley and Robert Curl of Rice University in Texas and their colleagues discovered a new form of carbon.Because the Earth is a dynamic place, carbon does not stay still. In the atmosphere, carbon is attached to some oxygen in a gas called carbon dioxide.Plants use carbon dioxide and sunlight to make their own food and grow. Plants that die and are buried may turn into fossil fuels made of carbon like coal and oil over millions of years.
Because organisms stop taking in carbon-14 after death, scientists can use carbon-14's half-life as a sort of clock to measure how long it has been since the organism died.Without it and other greenhouse gases, Earth would be a frozen world.