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So, when they die, they contain the same amount of Carbon 14 as their environment.
Scientists know that Carbon 14 has a half-life of 5,730 years, meaning that in 5,730 years, half of the Carbon 14 in a sample will turn into normal, non-radioactive carbon.
The technique hinges on carbon-14, a radioactive isotope of the element that, unlike other more stable forms of carbon, decays away at a steady rate.
Organisms capture a certain amount of carbon-14 from the atmosphere when they are alive.
Research in 2011 indicated that the rise in lake levels began 18,500 BP, peaking 16,000 and 14,500 years ago.The Salar de Uyuni located on the Bolivian Altiplano at an elevation of 3653m (11,985ft) above sea level, is the worlds largest salt flat.The salar and its companion, the Salar de Coipasa were formerly occupied by a series of large lakes.This kind of data can be used to, for example, estimate when modern humans arrived in Europe.Researchers have traditionally relied on the radiocarbon records of the radiocarbon levels found in these organic layers.