Dendrochronology and radiocarbon dating

The more ancient part of the chronology was constructed from oak logs preserved in peat beds, for example.The European oak chronology provided an excellent check of the American dendrochronologies. Ring-width patterns are determined by local environmental factors, such as temperature and rainfall.The pattern of radiocarbon in the rings showed a maximum divergence, even at very old ages, of only around 40 years.This objective, quantitative test of dendrochronology showed it to be reliable and accurate.This is accomplished using wood specimens found preserved, for example, in historic buildings, or on the forest floor, or in peat bogs.The rings in a non-living specimen can be counted to determine the number of years the specimen spans.

Tree-ring chronologies have been extended to 10,000 years before present in this way.If the science of dendrochronology was characterized by significant random error, the American and European tree-ring chronologies would certainly disagree with each other.In fact, a comparison of the European and American chronologies showed very close correlation.Some critics of dendrochronology suggest that the process of pattern-matching is highly error-prone.Are the long tree-ring chronologies inaccurate due to the inability of dendrochronologists to accurately match tree-ring patterns?

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