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Radiocarbon discrepancies due to volcanic CO2 emissions are a popular source of ammunition for fundamentalist viewpoints keen to present evidence to show that the radiocarbon method is somehow fundamentally flawed.Since about 1890, the use of industrial and fossil fuels has resulted in large amounts of CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere.[A Conventional Radiocarbon Age or CRA, does not take into account specific differences between the activity of different carbon reservoirs.A CRA is derived using an age calculation based upon the decay corrected activity of the absolute radiocarbon standard (1890 AD wood) which is in equilibrium with atmospheric radiocarbon levels (as mentioned previously, 1890 wood is no longer used as the primary radiocarbon standard, instead Oxalic Acid standards I and II were correlated with the activity of the original standard).
De Vries (1958) was the first person to identify this 'Atom Bomb' effect.
Thus, it dilutes the activity of the lake meaning that the radioactivity is depleted in comparison to 14C activity elsewhere.
The lake, in this case, has a different radiocarbon reservoir than that of the majority of the radiocarbon in the biosphere and therefore an accurate radiocarbon age requires that a correction be made to account for it.
The presence of bomb carbon in the earth's biosphere has enabled it to be used as a tracer to investigate the mechanics of carbon mixing and exchange processes.
Ellen Druffel has called this the silver lining in thermonuclear bomb testing.
The logical conclusion from this was that in order to obtain a modern radiocarbon reference standard, representing the radiocarbon activity of the 'present day', one could not very well use wood which grew in the 1900's since it was affected by this industrial effect.