Solar storm caused radiocarbon spike 14,300 years ago, scientists find

Solar storm caused radiocarbon spike 14,300 years ago, scientists find

The findings suggest that it could potentially be one of the most massive objects ever recorded.

Scientists have always been fascinated by the Sun’s influence on Earth and many studies have been conducted on the subject over the years. A recent discovery, both unsettling and important for Earth science, has shed new light on this relationship.

In this new study, an international team of scientists identified a substantial increase in radiocarbon levels by examining ancient tree rings found in the French Alps. By examining ancient tree rings, scientists have discovered evidence of an exceptionally powerful solar storm that hit Earth about 14,300 years ago. Remarkably, these findings indicate that this may be one of the most massive solar storms ever recorded.

According to a news release, a similar solar storm today would be devastating to modern technological society, potentially destroying telecommunications and satellite systems, causing massive power grid blackouts and costing us billions of pounds in losses. Academics are warning about the importance of understanding such storms to protect our global communications and energy infrastructure for the future.

The collaborative research, which was carried out by an international team of scientists, is published today (9 October) in Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences and reveals new information about the Sun’s extreme behavior and its dangers. Insight is revealed. Poses towards the earth.

A team of researchers from the Collège de France, CÉRAGE, IMBE, Aix-Marseille University and the University of Leeds measured radiocarbon levels in ancient trees preserved within the eroded banks of the Drozette River, near Gap in the southern French Alps.

Tree trunks, which are subfossils—remains whose fossilization process has not been completed—were cut into small single tree rings. Analysis of these individual rings identified an unprecedented increase in radiocarbon levels that occurred exactly 14,300 years ago. By comparing this radiocarbon spike with measurements of the chemical element beryllium found in Greenland ice cores, the team proposes that the spike was caused by a massive solar storm that released huge amounts of energetic particles into Earth’s atmosphere. Must have been thrown out.

“Radiocarbon is constantly being generated in the upper atmosphere through a series of reactions initiated by cosmic rays. Recently, scientists have discovered that extreme solar events, including solar flares and coronal mass ejections, also produce short-lived bursts of energetic particles. “What has been preserved is the enormous increase in radiocarbon production that occurred over the course of just one year,” said Edouard Bard, lead author of the study and professor of climate and ocean evolution at the Collège de France and Cérégie. “

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