But this time window was vast, so in the current study, Gibson and colleagues narrowed it by collecting and dating new samples of the black shale found in rock layers around the algae fossils.

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Computer crossdating has been used to match tree-ring samples that have been difficult to date by other matching techniques.

Using these computer crossdating techniques, tree-ring patterns have been matched over distances greater than 500 kilometers.

Bacteria have been photosynthesizing since at least 2.5 billion years ago, but is the first known example of a eukaryote that could photosynthesize.

(Eukaryotes are organisms, such as plants, some algae and animals, whose cells have a membrane surrounding the nucleus and other organelles that are inside them.) "Prior to about 2.5 billion years ago, there was essentially no oxygen in the ocean," Gibson said. "This early photosynthesis is responsible for the very earliest atmospheric oxygen," Gibson said.

With 76% of Sub–Saharan Africa suffering from severe energy poverty despite being energy rich, what are the opportunities for green building to help secure a prosperous, climate-resilient and sustainable future for Africa?

Dendrochronology has been used recently in Canada and the northwestern United States to date archaeological sites, driftwood accumulations of a lake created by a surging glacier, driftwood on raised beaches, glacial moraines, rates of alluviation, flooding, ice jamming and forest fires.

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Some living trees in Washington and British Columbia exceed 1300 years in age.

There is a potential for building tree-ring chronologies, using both living and dead tree material, back in time for thousands of years.

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