Carbon dating began
It is naturally radioactive and unstable, and will therefore spontaneously decay back into N-14 over a period of time.
On the other hand, atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons during the 1950s and 1960s is likely to have increased the Carbon 14 content of the atmosphere.
Until such time that another method becomes available – and one that produces smaller margins of error – it will remain the method of choice for archeology, paleontology, and other branches of scientific research.
We have written many articles about Carbon Dating for Universe Today.
We might not be able to go there in the flesh but this site can penetrate every country on the globe.
Here on Earth, Carbon is found in the atmosphere, the soil, the oceans, and in every living creature. C-12, so-named because it has an atomic weight of 12 – is the most common isotope, but it is by no means the only one.
Radiocarbon enters the biosphere through natural processes like eating and breathing.