Accuracy of tree ring dating
Hence at least some of the missing rings can be found. They can determine the exact calendar year each tree ring was formed.
One can use the amount of radiocarbon in the individual tree rings. During these periods of quiescence, atmospheric radiocarbon concentrations are higher. Yes, Cook is right that C is forming today faster than it's decaying. Radiocarbon measurements are based on the assumption that atmospheric carbon concentration has remained constant as it was in and that the half-life of carbon is years. Tree rings are used to calibrate radiocarbon measurements.
Tree rings provided truly known-age material needed to check the accuracy of the carbon dating method. There are some very old living trees on earth. Barnes has claimed that the earth's magnetic field is decaying exponentially with a half-life of fourteen hundred years. Furthermore, radiocarbon in the atmosphere fluctuates from year to year in a somewhat erratic fashion.
The radiocarbon dates and tree-ring dates of these other trees agree with those Ferguson got from the bristlecone pine. If they are right, this means all C ages greater than two or three thousand years need to be lowered drastically and that the earth can be no older than ten thousand years. Generally, it is not possible to construct a complete sequence of tree rings back through the historical periods using only living trees. Results of carbon dating are reported in radiocarbon years, and calibration is needed to convert radiocarbon years into calendar years. If we extrapolate backwards in time with the proper equations, we find that the earlier the historical period, the less C the atmosphere had.
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