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Mysterious abrupt carbon-14 increase in coral contributed by a comet
Liu, Y.; Zhang, Z.; Peng, Z.; Ling, M.; Shen, C.-C.; Liu, W.; Sun, X.; Shen, C.; Liu, K.; Sun, W. (2014). Mysterious abrupt carbon-14 increase in coral contributed by a comet. NPG Scientific Reports 4(3728): 4 pp. hdl.handle.net/10.1038/srep03728
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Liu, Y.
  • Zhang, Z.
  • Peng, Z.
  • Ling, M.
  • Shen, C.-C.
  • Liu, W.
  • Sun, X.
  • Shen, C.
  • Liu, K.
  • Sun, W.

Abstract
    A large and sudden increase in radiocarbon (14C) around AD 773 are documented in coral skeletons from the South China Sea. The 14C increased by ~ 15‰ during winter, and remain elevated for more than 4 months, then increased and dropped down within two months, forming a spike of 45‰ high in late spring, followed by two smaller spikes. The 14C anomalies coincide with an historic comet collision with the Earth's atmosphere on 17 January AD 773. Comas are known to have percent-levels of nitrogen by weight, and are exposed to cosmic radiation in space. Hence they may be expected to contain highly elevated 14C/12C ratios, as compared to the Earth's atmosphere. The significant input of 14C by comets may have contributed to the fluctuation of 14C in the atmosphere throughout the Earth's history, which should be considered carefully to better constrain the cosmic ray fluctuation.

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