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Coal is nearly pure carbon and petroleum is a mixture of hydrocarbons.By the end of the Twentieth Century, humans were adding carbon from fossil fuels to the atmosphere at a rate of about 10 billion tonnes per year (10 kg) a few years into the Twenty-first Century.

A technique for measuring the age of organic remains based on the rate of decay of carbon 14.

Because the ratio of carbon 12 to carbon 14 present in all living organisms is the same, and because the decay rate of carbon 14 is constant, the length of time that has passed since an organism has died can be calculated by comparing the ratio of carbon 12 to carbon 14 in its remains to the known ratio in living organisms.

In the late 1940s, American chemist Willard Libby developed a method for determining when the death of an organism had occurred.

These highly energetic nuclear bullets wreak havoc on the atoms in the upper atmosphere: tearing electrons from their orbitals and setting them free, knocking neutrons and protons from the tight confines of the nucleus and setting them free, generating x-rays and gamma rays as they decelerate, and creating exotic particles like muons and pions directly from their excessive kinetic energy.

These are also highly energetic and will ionize atoms, transmute nuclei, and generate x-rays themselves.

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