How Nuclear Tests Marked Life on Earth

The carbon 14 produced by hydrogen bomb tests in the 1950’s spread over the entire world. It worked itself into the atmosphere, the oceans, and practically every living thing

As it spread, it exposed secrets. It can reveal when we were born. It tracks hidden changes to our hearts and brains. It lights up the cryptic channels that join the entire biosphere into a single network of chemical flux. This man-made burst of carbon 14 has been such a revelation that scientists refer to it as “the bomb spike.” Only now is the bomb spike close to disappearing, but as it vanishes, scientists have found a new use for it: to track global warming, the next self-inflicted threat to our survival.

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