CitationKorff, S. A., & Mendell, R. B. (1980). Variations in radiocarbon production in the Earth's atmosphere. Radiocarbon, 22(2), 159-165.
PublisherAmerican Journal of Science
AbstractWe have investigated solar phenomena associated with unusual changes in the production rates of 14C in the atmosphere. 14C is produced in interactions of cosmic ray neutrons with nitrogen in the atmosphere. Intensity of the neutrons varies globally and fluctuates with time as a result of interactions of galactic cosmic rays which generate neutrons with plasma and magnetic fields of the solar wind. We estimate the total mean production rate of 14C for solar cycle 20, specifically 1965 to 1975, to be 2.25 +/- 0.1 nuclei-cm-2sec-1 from galactic cosmic rays alone, with negligible integrated contribution from solar particle events. Annual averages of Rz, the Zurich sunspot number, and the production rate of 14C, n(14C), were related by n(14C) = 2.60 5.53 x 10^(-3) Rz, +/- 3 percent. The contribution of solar flare particles and the zero sunspot limit are discussed with relation to major fluctuations that appear in the radiocarbon versus dendrochronology over short (~100 years) integration times.