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(This, in turn, is caused by variations in the magnetic fields of the earth and sun, for example.) Although the ratio of radiocarbon to stable carbon in the atmosphere has varied over time, it is quite uniform around the globe at any given time because the atmosphere mixes very quickly and constantly.

Plants obtain all their carbon atoms from the atmosphere.

This page contains links to guides to solving many of the the types of quantitative problems found in Chemistry 116.

If you don't know where to start, try the links with the same name as the chapter the problem comes from.

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Radiocarbon is not stable; over time radiocarbon atoms decay into nitrogen atoms.This tendency to decay, called radioactivity, is what gives radiocarbon the name radiocarbon.The atmosphere contains many stable carbon atoms and relatively few radiocarbon atoms.The length of the record depends on the depth of the ice core and varies from a few years up to 800 kyr (800,000 years) for the EPICA core. the shortest time period which can be accurately distinguished) depends on the amount of annual snowfall, and reduces with depth as the ice compacts under the weight of layers accumulating on top of it.Upper layers of ice in a core correspond to a single year or sometimes a single season.