The result is that radiocarbon and calendar ages are not identical, and the radiocarbon ages have to be converted to calendar ages using a calibration curve, which describes the atmospheric C concentration in the past measured in precisely and independently dated materials.
The current internationally-ratified calibration curve for terrestrial samples (e.g., woods, charcoals and macro-fossils) from the Northern Hemisphere is Int Cal04, which covers the past 26,000 calendar years (cal yr) (Fig. This curve is based on dendrochronologically-dated tree rings for the period 0-12,400 cal yr before present (BP, with 0 BP being AD 1950).
Four zonal data sets of tropospheric bomb C ages is usually undertaken using a computer program. Examples of radiocarbon calibration for the traditional radiocarbon dating and the bomb-pulse dating are shown in Figs.
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Calibrations of radiocarbon age determinations are applied to convert the Conventional Radiocarbon Age (BP age corrected for isotopic fractionation using a δ13C value) to calendar years.
The short-term difference between the two is caused by fluctuations in the heliomagnetic modulation of the galactic cosmic radiation and, recently, large-scale burning of fossil fuels and nuclear devices testing.
During this time the C level intermediate between these two reservoirs.