Australia's fairy circles Scientists are debating the cause of "fairy circles" in Australia’s dry grasslands. While some researchers believe the mysterious circular patches are the result of termite nests, others think they can be explained by competition for scarce water among plants. Once only found in southern Africa, fairy circles were identified in Australia earlier this year in landscapes like this one, near Kintore in the Northern Territory. [ Read the full story on the Australian fairy circles ] Thirsty grass? The barren circles surrounded by rings of grass are notable in that they repeat quite regularly in a geometric pattern. The research team that first described Australia's fairy circles attributed the shapes to water competition. Or termite homes? But a team of local researchers led by ecologist Fiona Walsh now claims the dry, sunbaked patches of soil are left behind by termites. Food prep Walsh and her colleagues observed that … [Read more...] about Photos: Mysterious Fairy Circles in Australia
The discovery of fairy circles in Australia earlier this year has hardly put to rest the controversy over how these mysterious structures form. " Fairy circles " are regular, repeating patches of dirt in remote grasslands that, when viewed from above, look like whimsical rings that were scattered across a landscape. Despite their fanciful appearance, the patterns have been a source of serious scientific debate for the last four decades. While some have argued that the geometric patterns are the work of termites , others have postulated that the circles form naturally as vegetation self-organizes in competition for scarce water and other nutrients. Previously, these patches had been observed only in southeastern Africa, mostly Namibia, but in March, a group of researchers announced that they had identified fairy circles in satellite images and during fieldwork in Western Australia. [ See Stunning Photos of Fairy Circles in Australia ] Led by ecological modeler … [Read more...] about Are ‘Fairy Circles’ Just the ‘Ghosts’ of Termite Nests?
An expansive megadrought that parched ancient Africa and southern Asia about 16,000 years ago was one of the most intense and far-reaching dry periods in the history of modern humans, new climate research indicates. The drought hit almost all of southern Asia and most of the African continent. During the drought, Africa's Lake Victoria — the world’s largest tropical lake and the source of the Nile — dried out, as did Lake Tana in Ethiopia and Lake Van in Turkey. And monsoons from China to the Mediterranean brought little or no rain. By looking at climate records, including samples of ancient sediments taken from Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania, the researchers pegged the timing of the megadrought to the peak of a 3,000-year period when icebergs and their meltwater surged into the North Atlantic. This change in the ocean, which occurred as the last ice age came to a close, appears to have had effects at the tropics, the researchers write in the Feb. 25 issue of the … [Read more...] about Epic Megadrought Struck 16,000 Years Ago
Home / News Not yet Googlers The company will wait until the new year to determine when US employees will be able to return to their offices. Jay Bonggolto 4 Dec 2021 0 Source: Android Central What you need to know Google has canceled its plan to require US employees to return to their offices on January 10. The search giant is deferring decisions on hybrid work setup timelines to its local offices. Google still encourages employees to work in the office "where conditions allow" to gain "muscle memory." Google appears to have pushed back its target date for the mandatory return to office of its US employees to next year. Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, announced in August that employees would be required to return on January 10, 2022, but this will not be the case. In an email to employees, security vice president Chris Rackow said Google will no longer adopt a hybrid work setup come January 10 in any of its US offices … [Read more...] about Google postpones mandatory return-to-office for US employees yet again