Carbon 14 – Lifting the Veil

Carbon 14 - Lifting the Veil
Radiocarbon Dating is an academic Dance of the Seven Veils.

The Dance of the Seven Veils is also thought to have originated with the myth of the fertility goddess Ishtar (Astarte) of Assyrian and Babylonian religion.

In this myth, Ishtar decides to visit her sister, Ereshkigal, in the underworld.

When Ishtar approaches the gates of the underworld, the gatekeeper lets Ishtar pass through the seven gates, opening one gate at a time.

At each gate, Ishtar has to shed an article of clothing.

When she finally passes the seventh gate, she is naked.

She is then imprisoned by Ereshkigal.

When she is later rescued and passes back through the seven gates, Ishtar receives one article of clothing back at each gate, and is fully clothed as she exits the last gate.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dance_of_the_Seven_Veils

In this academic Dance of the Seven Veils each veil usually involves a charade.

Charade
: Something that is done in order to pretend something is true when it is not really true
: A game in which players try to guess a word or phrase from the actions of another player who is not allowed to speak
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/charade

Even classifying Radiocarbon Dating is problematic.

Some sources suggest Radiocarbon Dating was invented by Willard Libby.

Inventor of the Week Archive
Before the 1940s, scientists had no accurate way of determining the age of fossils or other ancient objects. They had to rely on relative dating techniques, which typically held great potential for error. Then, scientist Willard Frank Libby came up with the method known as radiocarbon dating, a process that revolutionized the way we look at artifacts and document world history.

http://web.mit.edu/invent/iow/libby.html

Other sources suggest Radiocarbon Dating was discovered by Willard Libby.

The impact of the radiocarbon dating technique on modern man has made it one of the most significant discoveries of the 20th century. No other scientific method has managed to revolutionize man’s understanding not only of his present but also of events that already happened thousands of years ago.
http://www.radiocarbon.com/about-carbon-dating.htm

Wikipedia states that Radiocarbon Dating was developed by Willard Libby.

In 1960, Libby was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for leading the team (namely, post-doc James R. Arnold and graduate student Ernie Anderson, with a $5,000 grant) that developed carbon-14 dating.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willard_Libby

However, there are indications that Radiocarbon Dating was simply reverse engineered.

The reverse engineering simply involved calculating the number of Carbon 14 atoms that were needed to produce an average decay rate that exactly matched his chosen production rate of two per second.
https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2014/05/22/carbon-14-willards-world/

In many ways Willard Libby helped to make his own luck by playing the numbers game.
Like a good card player Libby counted his scientific cards and coolly calculated his chances of winning before he made a scientific gamble.

Therefore, when Libby initiated his quest to establish a baseline for “natural” Carbon 14 radiation [extracted from Baltimore sewage] he was well aware that Baltimore [and its residents] would be mildly contaminated by the nuclear fallout from the atmospheric explosions of 1945 and 1946.
https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2014/05/20/carbon-14-libbys-luck/

Which opens up the possibility that Radiocarbon Dating theory is pure invention.

Invention

Resolving this semantic puzzle involves a closer look at the Settled Science that underpins Radiocarbon Dating.

The Radiocarbon Dating theoretical model was developed by Willard Libby during the late 1940s and is based upon a grid of identical cells that cover the surface of the Earth.

This grid system is based upon a cell size of one square centimetre.
In this grid system every cell is identical and every cell behaves in exactly the same way.
Therefore, Willard Libby’s world model contains only one cell of one square centimetre.
Model Cell

https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2014/05/22/carbon-14-willards-world/

One remarkable feature of the Radiocarbon Dating model is that the individual elements in Willard Libby’s original carbon reservoir [which was calculated well before the satellite age] are still remarkably accurate.

Carbon Reservoir

Another remarkable feature of Willard Libby’s carbon reservoir is that he draws a veil over the carbon in fossil fuels.

Fossil Fuel Deposits

Interestingly, if Willard Libby had incorporated the oceanic deposits of methane hydrate [aka methane clathrate] then his total carbon reservoir figure of 8.5 grams would still be accurate.

The clathrates in these deep deposits are thought to have formed in situ from the microbially produced methane, since the δ13C values of clathrate and surrounding dissolved methane are similar.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methane_clathrate#Natural_deposits

methane-myopia-energy-science

https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/methane-myopia-2-energy-science/

Willard Libby chose to draw a veil over over fossil fuels because introducing these carbon deposits would also introduce the associated carbon flows between his Radiocarbon Dating model and the real world.

In the real world there are numerous processes that deposit carbon and release carbon.

Regardless of their net effect, these processes are not evenly distributed around the globe.

Therefore, Willard Libby’s Radiocarbon Dating model is clearly invalid because every square centimetre of the Earth’s surface does not encapsulate the same amount of carbon and these squares centimetres do not all behave in exactly the same way.

Carbon Release

Thankfully, this is one area were satellites are useful because they have photographed the Earth.

Terrain

Clearly, each square centimetre of the Earth’s surface is not identical.

Clearly, there are variations in the distribution of clouds, precipitation, temperature, fresh water, sea water, ice, soils, rocks, carbon deposits and life forms.

The real world is not uniformly average.

Much of this natural variability is controlled by insolation which varies in intensity and duration by latitude.

Hours of Sunshine
The Earth’s sea surface temperatures clearly illustrate this latitudinal dependency upon insolation.

RV Andenes - Sea Surface Temperature

These variations in sea surface temperatures directly influence the carbon levels in the oceans because “more than twice as much CO2 can dissolve into cold polar waters than in the warm equatorial waters” so that, typically, “tropical waters release CO2 to the atmosphere, whereas high-latitude oceans take up CO2 from the atmosphere”.

Natural Ocean Carbon Cycle
The oceans contain about 50 times more CO2 than the atmosphere and 19 times more than the land biosphere.

CO2 moves between the atmosphere and the ocean by molecular diffusion when there is a difference between CO2 gas pressure (pCO2 ) between the atmosphere and oceans.

For example, when the atmospheric pCO2 is higher than the surface ocean, CO2 diffuses across the air-sea boundary into the sea water.

The oceans are able to hold much more carbon than the atmosphere because most of the CO2 that diffuses into the oceans reacts with the water to form carbonic acid and its dissociation products, bicarbonate and carbonate ions .

The conversion of CO2 gas into nongaseous forms such as carbonic acid and bicarbonate and carbonate ions effectively reduces the CO2 gas pressure in the water, thereby allowing more diffusion from the atmosphere.

The oceans are mixed much more slowly than the atmosphere, so there are large horizontal and vertical changes in CO2 concentration.

In general, tropical waters release CO 2 to the atmosphere, whereas high-latitude oceans take up CO 2 from the atmosphere.

CO2 is also about 10 percent higher in the deep ocean than at the surface.

The two basic mechanisms that control the distribution of carbon in the oceans are referred to as the solubility pump and the biological pump.

Solubility Pump
The solubility pump is driven by two principal factors.

First, more than twice as much CO2 can dissolve into cold polar waters than in the warm equatorial waters.

As major ocean currents (e.g., the Gulf Stream) move waters from the tropics to the poles, they are cooled and can take up more CO2 from the atmosphere.

Second, the high latitude zones are also places where deep waters are formed.

As the waters are cooled, they become denser and sink into the ocean’s interior, taking with them the CO2 accumulated at the surface.

Biological Pump
Another process that moves CO2 away from the surface ocean is called the biological pump.

Growth of marine plants (e.g., phytoplankton) takes CO2 and other chemicals from sea water to make plant tissue.

Microscopic marine animals, called zooplankton, eat the phytoplankton and provide the basis for the food web for all animal life in the sea.

Because photosynthesis requires light, phytoplankton only grow in the nearsurface ocean, where sufficient light can penetrate.

Although most of the CO2 taken up by phytoplankton is recycled near the surface, a substantial fraction, perhaps 30 percent, sinks into the deeper waters before being converted back into CO2 by marine bacteria.

Only about 0.1 percent reaches the seafloor to be buried in the sediments.

The CO2 that is recycled at depth is slowly carried large distances by currents to areas where the waters return to the surface (upwelling regions).

When the waters regain contact with the atmosphere, the CO2 originally taken up by the phytoplankton is returned to the atmosphere.

This exchange process helps to control atmospheric CO2 concentrations over decadal and longer time scales.

Carbon Dioxide in the Ocean and Atmosphere – Christopher L. Sabine
http://www.waterencyclopedia.com/Bi-Ca/Carbon-Dioxide-in-the-Ocean-and-Atmosphere.html

The key point to remember [at this stage] is that the size of the oceanic carbon reservoir varies by latitude because “more than twice as much CO2 can dissolve into cold polar waters than in the warm equatorial waters”.

Willard Libby’s 1960 Nobel Lecture attempts to draw a veil over this very obvious flaw in his model by using classic misdirection [as beloved by magicians the world over].

Libby misdirects the audience by stating “the ocean is mixed nearly perfectly”.

Of course, the times for mixing of all parts of the reservoir must be short compared to the average lifetime of radiocarbon, 8,000 years.
The time for mixing of the oceans is the longest, about 1,000 years on the average.

It says also that the ocean is mixed nearly perfectly to its bottom depths in 8,000 years.

These conclusions could be false if errors in the very different quantities – the intensity of the cosmic rays and the mixing rate and depths of the oceans – should happen just to cancel
one another. Being so unrelated, we believe this to be very unlikely and conclude that the agreement between the predicted and observed assays is encouraging evidence that the cosmic rays have indeed remained constant in intensity over many thousands of years and that the mixing time, volume, and composition of the oceans have not changed either.

The specific activity is maintained at the level of about 14 disintegrations per minute per gram by the mixing action of the biosphere and hydrosphere.

In oceanography, the great question of the rate of mixing of the oceans has yielded to the radiocarbon technique to a considerable extent, particularly in the hands of Suess and Broecker and Olson; Suess particularly in the Pacific, and Olson and Broecker in the Atlantic. They have shown that the Pacific mixes relatively less rapidly, the turnover time being something between 1,500 and 2,000 years; whereas, the Atlantic mixes relatively more rapidly at a rate about twice this, or with a 750- to 1,000-year turnover time.
It is clear from these researches that the fundamental assumption of radiocarbon dating, that the reservoir of the sea must be counted as a diluent for the cosmic ray carbon-14, is valid.

From these things we know that there is world-wide mixing which occurs.

Radiocarbon Dating – Willard Libby
Nobel Lecture, December 12, 1960
http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/1960/libby-lecture.pdf

This is a cynical semantic deception because Libby is talking about the oceans being well mixed vertically whilst the critical issue for Libby’s Radiocarbon Dating theory is whether every square centimetre of the oceans is identical and behaves identically.
Well Mixed
Libby also manages to slip in some wonderful veil waving [aka arm waving] about mixing times during this masterpiece of misdirection.

The time for mixing of the oceans is the longest, about 1,000 years on the average.

It says also that the ocean is mixed nearly perfectly to its bottom depths in 8,000 years.

In oceanography, the great question of the rate of mixing of the oceans has yielded to the radiocarbon technique to a considerable extent, particularly in the hands of Suess and Broecker and Olson; Suess particularly in the Pacific, and Olson and Broecker in the Atlantic. They have shown that the Pacific mixes relatively less rapidly, the turnover time being something between 1,500 and 2,000 years; whereas, the Atlantic mixes relatively more rapidly at a rate about twice this, or with a 750- to 1,000-year turnover time.

Radiocarbon Dating – Willard Libby
Nobel Lecture, December 12, 1960
http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/1960/libby-lecture.pdf

However, what Libby fails to mention is that the plants and animals living within [and around] the oceans will only benefit from this mixing if they live for [somewhere between] 750 and 8,000 years.

Lifespan

Clearly, life span is a factor that should be considered in Radiocarbon Dating.

Statistically, a long life span should help to even out any short term variations in Carbon 14 levels whilst a short life span is more likely to reflect short term fluctuations.

Life span is probably of purely academic interest [at this stage] because Settled Science knows so very little about solar activity, long [and short] term climate oscillations and how they impact the levels [and distribution] of Carbon 14 within the environment.
Carbon14 and solar activity
However, observational scientists have realised that several environmental factors influence the concentration of Carbon 14 in the oceans.

The range of Δ14C values is large and depends on where and when the sample was taken, i.e., upwelling areas, far northern or southern latitudes, near fresh water influxes, temperature, salinity.

Carbon-14 Measurements in Surface Water CO2 from the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans, 1965-1994
Reidar Nydal, Antoinette L. Brenkert and Thomas A. Boden
Oak Ridge National Laboratory – March 1998
http://cdiac.ornl.gov/epubs/ndp/ndp057a/ndp057a.htm

Others have observed Carbon 14 is not always evenly distributed within a body.

rhinoceros-bone-radio-carbon-dating

Archaeological dating using physical phenomena
M J Aitken, Le Garret, Augerolles, Puy-de-Dˆome, 63 930, France
Rep. Prog. Phys. 62 (1999)

http://hbar.phys.msu.su/gorm/dating/dating.pdf

Whilst the mainstream is happily distracted discussing whether Carbon 14 is mixing vertically in the oceans they very studiously avoid noticing that Carbon 14 concentrations vary by latitude.

14C in the upper 1200 m of the Pacific, Southern, and Indian Ocean

Distribution of 14C in the upper 1200 m of the Pacific, Southern, and Indian Ocean basins in the 1990s. The penetration of 14C generated by the nuclear bomb test series of the 1950s and 1960s is roughly indicated in the transition from green to light blue (assuming about –60‰ as the pre-bomb Δ14C ocean surface value).

Developments in Radiocarbon Technologies: From the Libby Counter to Compound-Specific AMS Analyses
Pavel P Povinec, A E Litherland and Karl F von Reden
Radiocarbon, Vol 51, Nr 1, 2009, p 45–78
https://journals.uair.arizona.edu/index.php/radiocarbon/article/download/3478/2994

The observational data [which is ignored by the mainstream] clearly indicates that Carbon 14 concentrations are significantly below normal in the Polar Regions whilst there are two very distinct above normal latitudinal bands centred around 30° N and 30° S.

This pattern can be very clearly identified in the data collected during a round-trip cruise to Antarctica made by the Research Vessel Andenes during 1989-90.

RV Andenes - Corrected dC14

Sadly, when it comes to Carbon 14, the mainstream has a long tradition of drawing a veil over inconvenient data and ignoring the Carbon 14 variations that are associated with latitude, altitude, climate and species.

The 1955 Libby Samples

C14 - Altitude Variations

Radiocarbon Dating, Memories and Hopes – 1972 – W. F. Libby
Department of Chemistry and Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics,
University of California, Los Angeles
http://www.osti.gov/cgi-bin/rd_accomplishments/display_biblio.cgi?id=ACC0338&numPages=17

However, to get a better understanding of these variations it is necessary to lift the veil on the source[s] of Carbon 14 in the environment… to be continued.

UPDATE 26 May 2014
The observational data collected by the Research Vessel Andenes during 1989-90 shows Carbon 14 concentrations to be below normal in the Polar Regions and above normal in two latitudinal bands centred around 30° N and 30° S.

This pattern was very clearly confirmed [for the Southern Hemisphere – denoted by the asterisks in the image below] in a paper published in 1949 by Libby, Anderson and Arnold.

1949 World-Wide Assay of Natural Radiocarbon

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/109/2827/227

Carbon 14 - The BIG Fudge

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Gallery | This entry was posted in Cosmic Rays, Earth, Inventions and Deceptions, Radiocarbon Dating, Science. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Carbon 14 – Lifting the Veil

  1. Pingback: Carbon 14 – The BIG Fudge | MalagaBay

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