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The Oulu Cosmic Ray Station has been operational since 1964. It shows that yes, cosmic radiation striking the earth does correlate to solar minimums. What is interesting is that as the solar cycles get weaker, the station picks up more cosmic rays. The following graphic is interesting in the bottom graph:

Notice how in solar cycle 23 (previous) and solar cycle 24 (current) the percentage between 5% and 10% are the greatest since tracking began in 1964.

Cosmic radiation produces carbon-14 in the atmosphere. The decay of carbon-14 is used for "carbon dating", which is supposed to be good back to about 50K years ago. However, the basis of the dating originally assumed that carbon-14 is produced at a constant rate. We now know this is incorrect, because we now know that the variation in cosmic radiation produces a variant amount of carbon-14. It was believed the impact was not major. However, we now have evidence that cosmic radiation was much higher or much lower than has been tracked since 1964. As in, not just a variation of +/- 10%, but a variation of +/- 50% to 200%. From The Cosmic Ray Radiation Dose in Interplanetary Space – Present Day and Worst-Case Evaluations:


Measurements of Be-10 in polar ice cores and other data show that the cosmic-ray intensity was significantly higher 50 to 100 years ago. The estimated radiation levels during these earlier periods were up to ~1.7 times greater than during recent solar minima.


The Be-10 record indicates that cosmic-ray intensities during the Maunder minimum and late 1800’s were ~2x greater than during the 1976 solar minimum and ~50% greater during the first half of the 20th century. Balloon-borne experiments confirm the higher GCR levels from ~1932 to 1954.

There are a large number of papers investigating cosmic ray "events" in the past using Beryllium-10 in ice cores, not just this one paper cited above.

So cosmic radiation is again increasing. They should probably re-calibrate the standard carbon dating equations again. It has been adjusted before, but only assuming much smaller percentage variations in the production of carbon-14. The current equation(s) are based on parameters established in 1977 (using tree ring data for calibration curves), which was before we had the data that cosmic radiation varies significantly.

The big problem, as I see it, is that questioning the reliability of carbon dating will cause immediate accusations of supporting "creation science". So reputable scientists want to stay away from it. Unfortunately, without establishing a C-14 production rate correlated to cosmic ray strength based on Be-10 ice core data means that carbon dating is going to be off. Yet the problem was identified by reputable scientists at least as long ago as 1990. (See here.) As best as I can tell, most archeologists are quite aware of this and take carbon dating with a huge grain of salt, compared to 20 or 30 years ago. It is now considered only one piece of evidence among many others.

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