Radioactive carbon is being released during testing of nuclear bombs has reached the deepest regions of the ocean, found researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Studies have shown that it is present in muscle tissues of crustaceans that live in ocean trenches, including the Mariana trench.
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Over time, these creatures were killed. Their remains sank to the bottom and got in the organic sediment that feed the representatives of the deep-sea ecosystems. So radioactive molecules become part of the food chain.
“Ocean currents it would take hundreds of years to bring water rich in carbon in the deep trench. Food chain made it much faster,” said the study’s lead author, geochemist Ning Wang.
The scientists added that traces of human activity can be detected even at a depth of 11,000 meters, so people should carefully calculate the consequences of their actions.
Recall the testing of nuclear weapons were conducted in the fifties and sixties of the last century.
They doubled the amount of carbon-14 in the atmosphere of the planet. Its level peaked in the mid 1960-ies, and then, after the explosion, began to decline.
By the 1990s, the amount of carbon-14 declined by about 20% compared with the indicators before testing. He quickly left the atmosphere, but remained in the ocean waters. Marine organisms for decades to accumulate it in their cells, and this process is still ongoing.
Earlier it was reported that radioactive elements found in the melting ice caps. They include: lead-210, americium-241 and cesium-137.