Article

Another rapid event in the carbon-14 content of tree rings

  • Nature Communications 4, Article number: 1748 (2013)
  • doi:10.1038/ncomms2783
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Abstract

Previously, we have observed that the atmospheric 14C content measured in tree rings showed a strong increase from AD 774 to 775. Although the cause of this event can be explained by a large solar proton event or a short gamma-ray burst, a more detailed discussion of the cause is difficult because the rate of occurrence of such rapid 14C events remains unknown. Here we report new 14C measurements from AD 822 to 1021, and the discovery of a second rapid increase of 14C content from AD 993 to 994. The 10Be flux in the Antarctic ice core shows peaks corresponding to these two 14C events. The proportions of flux increase (14C/10Be) of the two events are consistent with each other. Therefore, it is highly possible that these events have the same origin. Considering the occurrence rate of 14C increase events, solar activity is a plausible cause of the 14C increase events.

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Change history

  • Updated online 07 November 2013

    The original version of this Article contained a chronological error concerning the counting of tree ring layers. During reanalysis of the data after publication, a missing layer was discovered around AD 956, which meant that all dates derived from annual layer counts beyond this datum needed to be increased by 1 year. For example, the date ranges quoted in the Abstract required revision from ‘AD 822 to 1020’ and ‘AD 992 to 993’ to ‘AD 822 to 1021’ and ‘AD 993 to 994’, respectively. These changes have now been applied throughout the PDF and HTML versions of the Article and accompanying Supplementary Information.

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Acknowledgements

We thank K. Kimura for dating the sample tree rings by dendrochronology. We also thank Y. Itow, H. Tajima, Y. Matsubara and T. Sako for commenting on our manuscript. This work was partly supported by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B:22340144) provided by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan. F.M.’s work is supported by a Research Fellowship of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Solar-Terrestrial Environment Laboratory, Nagoya University, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan

    • Fusa Miyake
    •  & Kimiaki Masuda
  2. Center for Chronological Research, Nagoya University, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan

    • Toshio Nakamura

Authors

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Contributions

F.M. prepared samples. T.N. measured 14C content by AMS at Nagoya University. F.M. and K.M. discussed the results. F.M. prepared the manuscript. K.M. commented on the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Fusa Miyake.

Supplementary information

PDF files

  1. 1.

    Supplementary Information

    Supplementary Figures S1-S2, Supplementary Tables S1-S2 and Supplementary Reference.

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