Radiocarbon found within rings of 14,300-year-old tree warns of a catastrophe | World News - Hindustan Times

Radiocarbon found within rings of a 14,300-year-old tree in the French Alps warns of a catastrophe

ByJahanvi Sharma
Oct 09, 2023 07:33 PM IST

Within the rings of a 14,300-year-old tree has been found a warning of a catastrophe. Read more about it below.

Researchers have found evidence of the most powerful solar storm in history within the rings of a tree.

This warns us of a fatal catastrophe if a solar storm of this scale occurs today.
This warns us of a fatal catastrophe if a solar storm of this scale occurs today.

According to a study, published in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Of Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences, a radiocarbon spike found within the rings of an ancient tree in the French Alps has now revealed to us the absolute power of the sun.

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Researchers found a strange increase in radiocarbon within the rings of a sub-fossilized 14,300-year-old tree in the Drouzet River. Subsequently, it was found to line up with patterns in beryllium in Greenland ice cores, indicating that the radiocarbon spike was caused by a huge solar storm.

The solar storm evidence found in the rings is said to have been 10 times as powerful as the Carrington Event of 1859, which caused destruction in the telegraph system present at the time. This warns us of a fatal catastrophe if a solar storm of this scale occurs today.

Additionally, this could cause trillions of dollars worth of damage.

"Extreme solar storms could have huge impacts on Earth," said Tim Heaton, co-author of the paper and professor of applied statistics at the University of Leeds, England.

"Radiocarbon is constantly being produced in the upper atmosphere through a chain of reactions initiated by cosmic rays," shared Eduoard Bard, lead author of the study and professor of climate and ocean evolution at the College de France and CEREGE.

“Recently, scientists have found that extreme solar events including solar flares and coronal mass ejections can also create short-term bursts of energetic particles which are preserved as huge spikes in radiocarbon production occurring over the course of just a single year,” added the professor.

A solar storm can be understood as an event when the sun has huge bursts of energy in the form of solar flares and coronal mass ejections. This leads to it sending streams of electrical charges and magnetic fields towards our planet at high speeds.

The devastating effect of this is seen in communication systems, power grids and more.

"Such super storms could permanently damage the transformers in our electricity grids, resulting in huge and widespread blackouts lasting months," said Tim.

"They could also result in permanent damage to the satellites that we all rely on for navigation and telecommunication, leaving them unusable. They would also create severe radiation risks to astronauts," he added.

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